[SDG Forum Series 2021–22] Toward Carbon Neutrality: Challenges and Opportunities


11 Feb 2022


7:00 – 8:30 p.m.


The talk will be conducted with ZOOM. Link will be provided later.


Prof. XU Yuan, Dr. William YU

Biography of Speaker:

XU Yuan is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Resource Management and leads the Environmental Policy and Governance Programme in the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has published widely on energy and environmental policies and strategies, especially on their enforcement and compliance as well as related technological innovation and industrial development, covering fossil fuels and renewables. Before joining CUHK in August 2010, he received a Ph.D. degree in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University and was a postdoctoral research associate in the Industrial Performance Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an M.S. degree in climatology, a B.S. degree in atmospheric sciences and a bachelor’s degree in economics, all from Peking University.

Dr William YU is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of World Green Organisation (WGO). Dr Yu is an energy economist and climate professional by training and completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He also earned an Executive MBA degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University in the U.S. Additionally, Dr Yu has gained valuable regional management experience by working at US multinationals, as well as a financial institution. Dr Yu is currently the Adjunct Professor of the City University of Hong Kong, Director of Studies of University of Wales Trinity Saint David, holding a research co-partner position with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of the University of Hong Kong. His publications in international academic journals cover Public Policy, Energy Poverty, the Indoor Built Environment, Green Manufacturing, as well as the UN Green Business Guide.

Event Details:

Seminar to be conducted in English.

Synopsis of Lecture:

As greenhouse gas levels continue to rise, the Earth’s climate is changing at an unprecedented pace, leading to many irreversible changes. To limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial level – a threshold the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) suggests, achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is essential. 

Good news is, the world has seen increasing momentum toward carbon neutrality, with most major emitting countries onboard. The stake is high with over US$100 trillion investment needed to achieve net zero emissions. Various sectors are destined to experience fundamental changes in the coming decades, with rising demands for new infrastructures, while many existing, fossil-fuel-based infrastructures may become obsolete. Jobs, money, industries, economies and geopolitics are expected to shift dramatically with winners and losers. 

In this SDG Forum, Dr. William Yu will scrutinize the latest climatic disasters and the corresponding risk reduction strategies. He will also look into technological innovation for carbon neutrality. Prof. Xu Yuan will explore the massive opportunities and challenges of achieving carbon neutrality in a variety of economic sectors.


Co-organized by Office of University General Education, CUHK and SDSN Hong Kong