Hong Kong strives to achieve carbon neutrality goal, long-term decarbonisation strategy expected mid-2021
The 2021 Budget Plan will be released next Wednesday in which global climate change is expected to be a topic in concern while the Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po has said that a long-term decarbonisation strategy, including the promotion of using electric vehicles, will be announced in the middle of this year.
The Financial Secretary said in his blog on Feb. 7 that the government will promote the use of electric vehicles by creating more EV charging stations and phase out existing high-emission Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles before 2027. The government would strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in the 2020 Policy Address.
However, the development of electric vehicles in Hong Kong is still slow, said Wong Chun-sing, 32, who would like to buy an electric vehicle but stopped by government measures. “The electric vehicles charging stations are not enough, I wanted to buy an electric car but I think it is hard to charge electric cars in Hong Kong,” said Mr Wong.
When compared with Singapore, Hong Kong is still lagging behind in terms of green infrastructures. Singapore announced on Tuesday in its budget that it will create 60,000 EV charging points before 2030, or more than 30 times of what they have now. "I think the development progress of Hong Kong is way behind Singapore,” Mr Wong said.
As of December 2020, Hong Kong had 3,351 electric vehicles charging points, according to data provided by the Environmental Protection Department.
Hong Kong also released certain policies to promote green technology for reducing air pollution by vehicles and ferries in last year’s budget. The government has earmarked HK$80 million for launching electric public light buses and HK$2 billion to subsidise the installation of EV charging stations for residential buildings and to benefit 36,000 parking spaces with charging-enabling infrastructure.
In addition, Hong Kong has the highest gasoline prices in the world. Hong Kong gasoline price is HK$18.59 per litre compared with about HK$5.826 in the United States.
Mr Wong said that the gasoline price in Hong Kong is a bit high to afford, and he is wanting to switch his car to electric vehicles sooner. Still, the government must provide enough electric charging points to the public.
《The Young Reporter》
The Young Reporter (TYR) is an English news publication produced by international journalism students at Hong Kong Baptist University. It started as a printed magazine in 1969. Today, TYR is produced across different platforms.
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