Following is the speech by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at the Green Building Award 2016 cum Hong Kong Green Building Council 7th Anniversary Dinner today (November 22):
Bay (Chairman of the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC), Mr Bay Wong), KK (Chairman of the Organising Committee of Green Building Award 2016, Professor Choy Kin-kuen), distinguished guests, government colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening. It is my great pleasure to join you all here to celebrate the 7th Anniversary of the HKGBC and to congratulate the well-deserved winners of the Green Building Award 2016.
Since its establishment in 2009, the HKGBC has been our key partner in green building movement and has made distinguished achievements at both the local and international arenas. By actively participating in international events, such as most recently hosting the WorldGBC Congress 2015, the HKGBC has showcased to the world Hong Kong's role in leading the global campaign for green building movement.
Locally, the HKGBC has been instrumental in leading the construction industry to foster a sustainable built environment and initiating behavioural changes towards low-carbon living. Now that the HKGBC has become a public body, it is well posed to add much value to the continuous advocacy for green building movement with more effective corporate governance and an institutionalised regulatory framework.
We are also thankful to the HKGBC for its efforts in co-organising this Green Building Award with the Professional Green Building Council since 2010. This provides a most resourceful platform for international and local experts to share experience, technologies and insight in green building design and development.
It has been a decade since the first Green Building Award was held in 2006. This biennial event provides prestigious recognition to building related projects with outstanding performance and contribution conducive to the sustainability and built environment at any stage of the project life-cycle.
The theme of the Green Building Award 2016 is "Driving for Green Lifestyle • Excellence in Sustainable Built Environment". This is particularly relevant as the event succeeds the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, the COP21, in which 195 countries have committed to the first universal and legally binding global climate deal to set out a global action plan to abate climate change. The Paris Agreement has just come into effect early this month. Hopefully, the Green Building Award this year will reinforce the aspiration of the Hong Kong community to pursue a green living attitude. In this regard, I am very glad to see that all the teams participating in the event, in particular the 70 finalists, have made great endeavours to demonstrate how this could be achieved.
2030+ and Climate Change
As you all know, we have just launched a major public engagement exercise on the strategic study on "Hong Kong 2030+: Towards a Planning Vision and Strategy Transcending 2030". This is our long term plan for updating the territorial development strategy in order to guide planning, land and infrastructure development, as well as shaping the built environment of Hong Kong beyond 2030. Amongst the various fundamental elements of the Strategy, we advocate the idea of creating capacity for sustainable growth. In more specific terms, we strive for enhancing our environmental capacity, whilst adopting a smart, green and resilient city approach. Our vision is to build Hong Kong into a more liveable, competitive and sustainable Asia's world city.
To plan for our city development beyond decades, climate change is no doubt a grave challenge that we have to tackle seriously. Hong Kong is an exceptionally high-density city, with a massive building stock accounting for 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emission. It is therefore most reasonable for us to target on buildings with a view to mitigating the effects of climate change. Green buildings can provide abundant opportunities for saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emission and harvesting renewable energy. To lead by example, the Government has been promoting and supporting green building and sustainability initiatives in public works projects. This is also in line with the objective of the Steering Committee on Climate Change, led by the Chief Secretary for Administration, to achieve a more aggressive carbon intensity reduction target in the longer term. Obviously, we are looking forward to more responsive actions from the private sector to address this important subject. I would like to call upon all stakeholders to join hands in a collaborative action to take on the challenge against climate change.
Of course, we need the tools to equip ourselves in this battle against climate change. Whilst technologies are advancing at a rapid pace, I can see that further innovative ideas along this path would help gather more momentum for the green building movement. The example of the Kai Tak District Cooling System has indeed demonstrated how creative design could contribute significantly to our sustainable built environment.
I think no one would dispute that Elon Musk, the American entrepreneur who found PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is a forerunner in innovation and the application of technologies. As promoted by his SolarCity, the launch of solar panel roof system, together with financial and commercial innovations, has instigated a revolutionary change. New solar panels have become part of the aesthetic roof design of houses instead of hefty E&M (electrical and mechanical) modules. This can possibly increase the installation capacity of solar roof panels by a great volume, hence signifying a great leap forward for the campaign to reduce carbon footprint. It is said that another breakthrough is now taking place - solar panels are pairing up with the Tesla electric vehicles. It appears that innovation never stops with Elon Musk.
For this term of the Government, innovation and technology ranks high on our policy agenda. Now that the Innovation and Technology Bureau has been established, we are able to apply ourselves vigorously on this important subject. I have earlier stressed the importance of making our city "smart" in the future. This will be essential for achieving a sustainable built environment in terms of low carbon emission and high energy efficiency. In a pilot scheme, we are now developing Kowloon East into a smart city which will leverage human and social capital to facilitate the sustainable growth of society and enhance quality of living. Some proofs of concept trials have already been conceived and we are now undertaking a public engagement exercise to gather views. I will be looking forward to your contribution on opinions and ideas about our endeavours.
World Sustainable Built Environment 2017
Ladies and gentlemen, next year will be a major milestone for the green building movement in Hong Kong. For the first time, we will host the World Sustainable Built Environment Conference. About 1,800 green building experts from different countries will gather here to exchange experience and expertise in sustainable built environment and put their ideas into action in transforming the world's built environment.
As the host of this global event, Hong Kong will be more than ready to share our experience and insight in decarbonising high-rise buildings within a most compact city environment, and influence and lead the global trend in pursuing sustainable, high-density and low-carbon development.
I am sure that HKGBC and the conference partners are now racing against time to prepare for the event. Please be assured that the Government will render all the necessary support. May I also appeal for the support of all concerned in order to make the event a great success.
Coming back to the ceremony tonight, once again I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to the HKGBC, the Professional Green Building Council and every project team participating in the Green Building Award. I am thankful to you for sharing your masterpieces with the community. I sincerely wish all of you greater success and accomplishments in the years to come. Thank you.
Ends/Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:43