As mentioned in the 2020 Policy Address, Hong Kong will strive to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. The whole community needs to work together to achieve this target. The HKSAR Government announced the Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 in early October 2021, setting out the vision of “Zero-carbon Emissions • Liveable City • Sustainable Development”, and outlining the strategies and targets for combating climate change and achieving carbon neutrality.
Reducing the overall energy consumption of buildings through promoting green buildings and improving buildings’ energy efficiency is one of the major decarbonisation strategies. To help welfare organisations improve energy efficiency, the government has earmarked HK$150 million to implement the “Green Welfare NGOs” programme as announced in the 2021 - 2022 Budget. Implemented by the Environment Bureau (ENB) and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) in collaboration with the Social Welfare Department (SWD) of the HKSAR Government, the “Green Welfare NGOs” programme will conduct energy audits and carry out energy saving projects for welfare non-governmental organisation (NGO) premises free of charge.
EMSD will provide one-stop service to help eligible welfare NGOs concerned replace more energy efficient variable-speed air-conditioners and light emitting diode (LED) lighting in their premises to enhance energy performance. Launched in November 2021, the “Green Welfare NGOs” programme will span over a period of five years.
EMSD is also rendering assistance to schools to improve energy efficiency. Under a current sister scheme called “Green Schools 2.0 – Energy Smart”, EMSD is carrying out energy saving projects for non-government, non-profit making schools. The scheme is welcomed by the education sector and the response has been enthusiastic.
“Green Welfare NGOs” also creates green job opportunities and helps promote energy efficiency among the welfare NGOs.
This article is contributed by the Environment Bureau and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department of the HKSAR Government