CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia Holds the ‘What’s Next After COP21?’ Forum
CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia co-organised with the Hong Kong Meteorological Society a forum entitled ‘What’s Next After COP21?’ at Choi Hung Estate Catholic Secondary School last Friday (29 April). The forum, under the Environment and Climate Change Forum Series, gathered experts from different sectors to share knowledge about, and insights into, the next steps after COP21. More than 180 participants from the public and private sectors, local schools and tertiary institutions attended the event.
Mr Shun Chi-ming, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, HKSAR Government, was the keynote speaker. Other guest speakers included Mr Leung Wing-mo, Adjunct Professor, Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Dr William Yu, Chief Executive Officer, World Green Organisation. The forum was chaired by Prof. Edward Ng, Yao Ling Sun Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
At the forum, Mr Shun said that COP 21 established binding commitments by all parties to make ‘Intended Determined National Contributions’ (INDCs) and to pursue measures aimed at achieving the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while urging efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. He emphasised that the submission of INDCs from nations is only the first step, and that governments must set more aggressive goals in order to effectively solve the problem of climate change. One of the goals mentioned in the Hong Kong Climate Change Report 2015, launched late last year, was to reduce carbon intensity by 50–60% from the 2005 level by 2020. To adapt to climate change, Hong Kong has to assess the risk factors related to climate change and take defensive measures, for example through more effective urban planning and strengthening publicly owned physical infrastructure. There is also a need to strengthen resilience in the community through research and monitoring, and by updating the contingency plans for natural disasters.
During the question and answer session, participants raised questions about the way forward for Hong Kong after COP21 and had a fruitful discussion with the speakers.
CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia
CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia is a five-year community engagement programme, launched in 2012 by CUHK, with a generous donation of HK$70 million from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. In support of Gaia’s commitment to paving the way to a sustainable future for Hong Kong, the programme’s aim is to promote environmental conservation and sustainability in local communities, through public education and carbon reduction partnerships with schools and non-governmental organisations.
To draw on the collective wisdom in the community and to encourage active public participation in tackling various environmental issues, CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia has organised the Environment and Climate Change Forum Series. The forums invite experts and practitioners from different fields, as well as members of the public, to offer different perspectives on our environmental challenges and the impact of climate change, and to propose possible solutions.
The first of its kind in the world, the Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change (MoCC), maintained by Gaia, is open to the public with free admission. The MoCC showcases the ‘Three Poles’ (the North Pole, the South Pole and Mount Everest) collection of renowned Hong Kong explorer Dr Rebecca Lee, innovative research on the environment, energy and sustainability initiated by CUHK, and the Jockey Club’s initiatives to promote green living in the community.
More details of the CUHK Jockey Club Initiative Gaia can be found at www.cuhk.edu.hk/gaia.