Solar energy exhibition opens

The following is the speech (English only) by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Gordon Siu, at the opening of Solar Energy Exhibition organised by the Polytechnic University, Friends of the Earth and Shell Co. at the Polytechnic University today (Friday):

Mrs Ng, Mr Young, Prof Walters, ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to officiate at the opening ceremony of this exhibition.

There is absolutely no doubt that we cannot forever rely on fossil fuels for our energy supplies. For the global environment, we must aim at reducing emissions from vehicles. In any case, fossil fuel will become increasingly rare and more expensive. One day they will run out.

It is therefore essential that we explore the potential from the fullest range of renewable energies, including solar, wind and biomass. There are others, of course, such as geothermal and hydroelectric, but they are not all suitable for Hong Kong's geographical circumstances.

I am particularly pleased to be sharing the stage with representatives of a leading environmental pressure group, one of the world's great oil companies, and a notable academic. That would have been an unlikely picture just a few years ago. It is this new sense of partnership that gives me the confidence that, together, we can successfully resolve the environmental problems we face. Of course, I do not expect that we will always share the same views on every aspect of every issue. That is not important. The important thing is that we are all focussed on the same goals.

I congratulate FoE, Shell and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for collaborating on this interesting and important exhibition. I hope that this is merely the beginning of such cooperation.

Thank you.

End/Friday, December 3, 1999