Speech by SEN at opening ceremony of 11th Eco Expo Asia
Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, at the opening ceremony of the 11th Eco Expo Asia today (October 26):
Margaret (Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Ms Margaret Fong), Jason (Senior General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (Hong Kong) Ltd, Mr Jason Cao), Director General Li (Director-General of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Mr Li Haisheng), Deputy Director General Yang (Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Mr Yang Tiesheng), government colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to join you this morning for the opening of the 11th Eco Expo Asia. A big welcome to those who have travelled a long way to join us today.
I am particularly grateful for the strong support from the Mainland of China, here with more than 30 official delegations at the central, provincial and municipal levels. Their support underlines the importance the Mainland places on environmental issues and the value they see in this event, the Eco Expo Asia.
The theme of the Eco Expo Asia this year is "Green Solutions for a Changing Climate". Climate change is a great challenge that all of us are facing. With the positive outcome of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Hong Kong must ready itself for making greater efforts and approach climate change more holistically, as it is an issue with broad socio-economic impacts beyond environmental protection.
The Hong Kong SAR Government attaches great importance to combating climate change, and actions are being taken on various fronts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a view to reducing the territory's carbon intensity between 50 per cent and 60 per cent by 2020, using 2005 as the base. We are on track to meet that target.
The Government published in November last year the Hong Kong Climate Change Report 2015, which outlines the work and joint efforts of the Government and the key private-sector stakeholders in responding to climate change. It also provides an account of Hong Kong's climate change actions so that the public can have a complete picture of Hong Kong's contributions to concerted global actions.
To strengthen our effort on combating climate change, Mrs Carrie Lam, our Chief Secretary for Administration, has been chairing a high-level Steering Committee on Climate Change since April this year. Since climate change affects every aspect of our lives, all the Policy Secretaries are members of the Committee, including myself. The committee has conducted a consultation to gauge public views on the desired climate strategy for Hong Kong and we will announce our enhanced climate change work plan and long-term carbon reduction target in the coming few months. However, the Government's action is only part of the equation in combating climate change. It is not enough. Everyone in the community needs to play a part. Here, we need to count on all of you to join hands with us to identify possible environmental strategies, technologies and products, such as those you will see at the Eco Expo, to support the community to combat climate change.
To meet the strong demand for environmental products and services across the globe to address climate change and other environmental problems, the Hong Kong SAR Government is fully committed to supporting the development of green products and the wider use of energy saving and low-carbon technologies. For example, we have been supporting the local environmental sector through various financial incentive schemes and substantial investment in environmental infrastructure projects. These include several major waste management infrastructure projects, most notably Phase 1 of an integrated waste management facilities with a design capacity of treating 3 000 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. We are also planning for the development of modern Organic Waste Treatment Facilities to recycle food waste into biogas for both energy recovery and also compost products.
The National 13th Five-Year Plan promulgated by the Central People's Government early this year continues to put high-level attention on environmental protection and sustainable development. The Eco Expo here provides a strategic platform to facilitate the local and international environmental companies in entering the Mainland's fast-growing environmental market. The Eco Expo also brings together a world of exhibitors and buyers to network and do business. It has also attracted leaders and environmental professionals from the government, business and also technology sectors to Hong Kong to talk about climate change and other environmental issues of concern. We will continue to encourage Hong Kong's environmental industry to seize these valuable opportunities by making full use of the liberalisation measures under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement.
Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you again for coming today and more importantly, for joining the global efforts in combating climate change. I hope you will also find the Expo and the three-day Eco Asia Conference both useful and inspiring, and for friends who come from abroad and across the boundary, I wish you all an enjoyable stay in Hong Kong.
Let's combat climate change together, and thank you for your support. Thank you.
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