IMPACT REPORT SPRING 2015
YOUR IMPACT HIGHLIGHTS
IMPACT REPORT SPRING 2015
Our latest green victories
When indifference becomes a habit: Taking another look at our daily life
We are sincerely grateful for your actions to protect the environment and safeguard a beautiful future for the next generation.
Campaign Support (All environmental projects)
Environmental Projects and Campaign Support Expenditures (Statistics from January to December 2014, the exact numbers are subject to an auditor’s verification)
Publicity and Outreach / 2%
Action and Investigation / 7%
Business and Science Unit / 9%
Campaign Media Communications / 23%
Creating a nuclear-free future: Continuing to raise awareness of the dangers of nuclear power, we worked with experts to identify serious safety risks and loopholes in South Korea’s nuclear reactors.
This reminds me of a social psychology experiment: Participants sit in a room filling out a questionnaire. As the room slowly fills with smoke, three out of four people raised the alarm when they were alone. But when two actors indifferent to the smoke were also present, only one out of ten people reported the smoke.
Rescuing the Endangered Vaquita: We got the Mexican government to introduce a bill to ban fishing methods harmful to the porpoise for the next two years.
It’s normal for us to adapt to our environment. But the collective indifference and helplessness of society is a major obstacle in galvanizing change. One of Greenpeace’s missions is to awaken the public to recognize – and respond to – the environmental crimes happening all around us. This issue is themed around the problems we have gotten used to and now find easier overlook. Have the ubiquity of sushi restaurants and inexpensive seafood led us to believe that the oceans can supply us with infinite quantities of fish? Do the fresh and appetizing vegetables in the local shops conceal a toxic cocktail of toxic pesticides? Who would guess that fine rosewood furniture is implicated in tropical deforestation? And are Hong Kong’s dazzling skyscrapers blinding us to the potential of green building development? In the past few months, we have invited you to take part in various supporter surveys. We value your opinion, and would like to sincerely thank you for all your communications and feedback, whether it’s filling out a quick survey, liking our Facebook posts, or taking a few minutes out of your day to chat with our direct dialogue team. We always appreciate hearing from you, because it not only show us how much you value the environment but also helps us to improve our campaigns as we work to protect our planet together.
Protecting our Forests / 4%
Climate & Energy / 20%
Decarbonizing the cloud: We are campaigning for Taiwan’s rapidly growing cloud-computing and IT industry to commit to a sustainable energy policy, and increase the use of renewable energy.
“It’s fine if you get used to it” – a dangerous way of thinking indeed.
Stopping illegal fishing: After correcting several policies, this February, South Korea was taken off the U.S.’s blacklist of nations engaged in illegal fishing.
Hong Kong and Taiwan special projects / 4%
Exposing unfair electricity rates in Hong Kong: We examined 11 years of electric rates and uncovered CLP’s double standards: while rates for residents increased by 60%, large commercial users enjoyed a rate reduction over the same time period.
Defending the Oceans / 11%
Supporting sustainable sushi: Our investigations of 9 major sushi chains in Taiwan found that they all lacked sustainable seafood procurement policies.
Campaign Coordination / 6%
Analysing air pollution: Working with Peking University, we found that PM 2.5 air pollution in China’s major cities caused 10 times as many premature deaths as traffic fatalities. Our analysis of 2014 air pollution data revealed that air quality in 90% of the 190 cities around China exceeded national standards for PM 2.5.
When my friends come to visit Hong Kong, they often exclaim to me in shock, “What terrible air quality! How can you stand to live here for so many years?” Many Hong Kongers may shrug in response. “Yes, but it’s fine if you get used to it.”
Eliminating Toxic Pollution / 8% Exposing regulatory loopholes: Immediately after Hong Kong’s hazardous chemical control ordinance for PFOS took effect at the start of this year, we discovered that it contained loopholes and asked the government to correct this. Delivering a toxic present: In 2014, crowdfunding helped us buy 500kg of rice contaminated with cadmium. We delivered it all to the Hunan Grain Bureau to urge officials to address the serious issue of heavy metal pollution and contamination. 2
Last August, we exposed Zhejiang Province’s widespread destruction of natural forest. This January, the State Forestry Administration named Zhejiang as their priority case for investigating severe illegal deforestation violations.
Safeguarding our Food Supply / 6% This January we published an extensive investigation on pesticide residues on vegetables purchased in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. We then provided recommendations for Hong Kong in updating its own agricultural policies.
Director of Fundraising & Engagement, Greenpeace East Asia
Cover Story： Manta rays swim through the plankton rich waters off the coast of Nusa Penida, just west of Bali in Indonesia. Once killed “accidentally” as bycatch, now manta rays are being targeted by fishermen and killed for their gill rakers.
IDEAL is the guiding principle behind our work. We Investigate, Document , Expose, Act and Lobby, tirelessly taking positive action across the globe to help realize the environmental ideals that we all share.
04 / Acting Locally to Save the Climate 06 / Solar Panels Provide More Than Just Electricity 08 / How Fish Maw is Killing the World’s Smallest Porpoise 10 / Exposing the Chemical Pesticides Hidden on Vegetables 12 / The madness of the rosewood industry 14 / Thank you for Helping to Shape Hong Kong’s Energy Future 3
IMPACT REPORT SPRING 2015
Acting Locally to Save the Climate
The Arctic’s Greatest Threat: The Race to Drill “ The melting of the Arctic ice cap is one of the clearest warnings we have on climate change. Unfortunately, the oil and gas companies see only the profits they can make, and are all rushing to stake their share.
Climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation. Climate change is global, but its causes are local and everywhere. Accordingly, we have localized our approach, with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Taipei each tackling the most urgent climate and energy issues locally. All four offices are also collaborating on our international campaign to protect the Arctic.
Among the greediest companies is Shell, which plans to return this summer to Alaska for exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea– even though the latest U.S. government analysis says that the risk of a large oil spill is as high as 75 percent. The harsh weather conditions will make the already-difficult task of cleaning up an oil spill practically impossible, risking irreparable catastrophe for the Arctic environment. This year, I will remain in Hong Kong to help raise public awareness of the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic and its link to the climate crisis.”
The Climate and Energy campaign is one of Greenpeace East Asia’s key priorities this year. Our four offices are all working on different challenges in different ways, yet we are all supporting each other toward a shared goal. This gives our campaign its unique strength, as from our regional perspectives we shape the global dialogue.
Ending China’s Dirty Coal Habit “ Coal combustion is the world’s biggest source of greenhouse emissions, but China continues to rely on coal for the majority of its energy needs. Aside from its climate impact, China’s coal reliance results in hazardous air pollution as well as many other social and environmental problems. After many years of hard work, China has now embarked on the road leading away from coal. Last November, China and the US reached a historic climate deal, and China announced first-ever target to peak greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 or earlier.
Pauline the Polar Bear
A Green Internet starts with Renewable Energy “ Renewable energy supplies less than 5 percent of Taiwan’s energy mix. Now is the time for Taiwan to transition to the cleaner, safer path of renewable energy. Taiwan has high potential for solar and wind energy. It receives much more sunshine than Germany, one of the world’s solar energy leaders. Greenpeace has already launched a renewable energy campaign in Taiwan. Our first step was to expose the link between Taiwan’s IT and cloud-computing industry and the polluting energy that supplies electricity for the many data centers, which process massive amounts of data each day. We will use this opportunity to encourage the IT and computing industry to commit to using 100 percent renewable energy and increase their energy efficiency.”
This year, through far-sweeping field surveys, we will fully expose the coal-chemical industry’s exploitation of water resources at the headwaters of the Yellow River in northwestern China. We will also closely monitor air pollution indices in major cities and bear witness to air pollution in cities from Beijing to the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas. We will raise public awareness of coal’s impact on health and quality of life, and make sure that the government implements the policies and targets needed to improve air quality.” Li Yan, Climate & Energy Campaign Manager
Turning Hong Kong into a Low-Carbon Capital Tamina Tsai, Project Leader
“ Reflecting back on my 11 years with Greenpeace, the Hong Kong Climate and Energy campaign has been filled with non-stop challenges, but our persistency and hard work have always paid off. In 2003, we carried out a series of actions at CLP’s headquarters, power plants, and stockholder meetings, and four years later, the utility agreed to set targets for reducing GHG emissions and committed to developing renewable energy. In 2007, we asked the Hong Kong government to draft plans to address climate change as soon as possible; three years later we finally saw the public consultation.
Don’t Let South Korea Risk a Nuclear Catastrophe “ South Korea is one of the most aggressive countries in the world in developing its nuclear industry – even after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. However, in recent years the Korean nuclear industry has suffered a string of scandals, malfunctions, and accidents. Last May, the South Korean National Assembly passed a revision bill that extended the Emergency Planning Zone from 10 up to 30 km, a demand we had pushed hard during our ship tour in 2013. This year, we will continue to undermine the social license of nuclear plants and raise safety concerns over new reactors that have cut corners for economics savings. Our goal is to reveal the true costs of nuclear power to prevent another Fukushima from happen again.”
This year, we will continue to push the Hong Kong electricity market to reform its policies and develop green architecture. This, too, will require patience as well as your long-term, unwavering support for success, as we work to transform Hong Kong into an energy-efficient, low-carbon city.”
Daul Jang, Senior Climate & Energy Campaigner
Gloria Chang, Hong Kong Campaign Manager 4
IMPACT REPORT SPRING 2015
Smog Journeys: Air pollution through the lens of Chinese director Jia Zhangke
Solar Panels Provide More Than Just Electricity Many people believe that solar power must be deployed at vast scales – like solar farms in the Californian deserts – to be economically feasible. But actually solar is one of the easiest ways to break even on renewable energy. Solar-powered lamps and mini solar-powered chargers are easy to find in Hong Kong. Around the world, many small and even portable solar devices have transformative potential far beyond supplying electricity.
We may have become accustomed to spending every day in a thick, industrial smog, but a talented artist – like Jia Zhangke – can jolt us out of our complacency and expose the absurdity of what we take for granted. “One thing that fascinated and shocked me the most was the fact that even on smoggy days, people still lived their lives as usual.” said the independent Chinese film director, who was commissioned by Greenpeace East Asia to make Smog Journeys, a short film on the air pollution crisis in China.
Bringing Light in a Time of Darkness in the Philippines
Over our three years working on air pollution, Greenpeace has analyzed a lot of data, conducted extensive research, and published multiple investigative reports to expose China’s reliance on coal and other fossil fuels as the primary cause of the country’s toxic air pollution. But this time we decided to tell the story through the vision of an artist, to show how air pollution affects people’s everyday lives. Acclaimed for his gritty films on modern China, Jia Zhangke was the perfect director to capture the stark visuals and melancholy that we hope will move and touch viewers.
One year after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, many disaster areas have yet to recover. Over 200,000 people still live in temporary housing, with no idea of when they will be able to rebuild. But the typhoons show no respite: in December 2014, Typhoon Hagupit left another path of destruction through the islands. Unfortunately, extreme weather events like Hagupit and Haiyan will increase in frequency and severity as a result of climate change.
Smog Journeys follows two families, a working-class one in the coal mining district of Hebei, and a middle-class family in Beijing. But regardless of economic status, they all breathe the same dirty air. Jia said, “I wanted to emphasize that air pollution is the great equalizer. The issue of smog is something that all the citizens of the country need to face, understand, and solve in the upcoming few years.”
Greenpeace’s emergency response team immediately went to the typhoon’s ground zero, Dolores, with a delivery of 40 portable solar systems for evacuation centers in areas that had lost power. The systems have lighting, a cellphone charger, and a battery that allows them to continue providing power at night, fulfilling basic needs – such as contacting loved ones – for the evacuation centers.
Clean air is a fundamental part of a healthy life. But coal combustion produces high levels of PM 2.5 pollution that deteriorates air quality and public health throughout China, Hong Kong, and neighboring regions. It is also the major culprit in causing climate change. PM 2.5 is the most dangerous air pollutant, as its tiny size allows it to enter through the nasal passages and pass through the lungs directly into the bloodstream. In research conducted with Peking University’s School of Public Health, Greenpeace found that there were over 250,000 premature deaths due to PM 2.5 in China’s 31 provincial capitals in 2013 – a mortality rate that’s higher than smoking and ten times higher than traffic accidents. If China were to achieve its 2030 air quality targets, it could save over 100,000 lives every year.
Two weeks later, as the recovery effort began, Greenpeace returned again with a delivery of seeds and fertilizers from farmers in areas unaffected by the typhoon. We also arranged for agricultural experts to share information about ecological farming to help farmers plant crops that are not only healthy for people and the planet, but also resilient to the effects of climate change.
At the end of Smog Journeys, the little Beijing boy draws a picture in the thick layer of dust covering a parked car – his dream world of sunshine and nature. It is a tragedy that for millions of children in China, blue skies and clean air will be only a dream, with smog the everyday reality of their childhood. Greenpeace hopes that this collaboration with Jia Zhangke will help China and the world recognize this tragedy, and take action to improve air quality.
Solar Power: Clean Energy and Green Jobs in Kinhasa, DRC Solar power can also shine a light on the future for young people. The Greenpeace Switzerland and Africa offices worked with a local foundation to add solar technology training to the curriculum of EPROBA, a vocational school that provides work-training for young people in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
QR Code or visit here: http:/bit.ly/1z8vS88 Jia Zhangke is a 44-year-old independent film director and screenwriter. His widely praised films depict unflinchingly the condition of modern Chinese society. He has won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival and best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival. German film critic Ulrich Gregor calls him A beacon of hope for Asian cinema.”
In February 2015, the first class of 26 students put their learning into practice by installing a solar system for the school itself. The solar panels will generate enough power to supply nearly all of EPROBA’s everyday needs. In countries like the DRC and elsewhere, solar power provides not only independence from unstable energy grids, but also an unlimited source of clean energy as well as a growing supply of jobs. 6
IMPACT REPORT SPRING 2015
How Fish Maw is Killing the World’s Smallest Porpoise
Don’t be a robber of the seas – choose sustainable sushi!
Fish maw is a highly prized delicacy among Chinese people, but fish maw (also known as swim bladder) from certain species of fish are closely linked to the fate of the vaquita, a critically endangered porpoise that swims thousands of miles away in the Gulf of California. More and more people are starting to realize that their consumer choices on seafood can have a profound impact on the health of the oceans, perhaps even dooming another species to extinction. With better decisions, we can help protect the sustainability of our oceans.
With sushi restaurants everywhere in cities big and small, and exotic displays of seafood waiting for shoppers at the market, it’s easy to forget that the oceans are suffering from serious overfishing. Hong Kong loves seafood: its annual seafood consumption, a staggering 70kg per person, ranks second in Asia and is four times the global average. Yet every kilogram of seafood comes at a high price: countless dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and other endangered or juvenile fish may have died to bring that piece of sashimi to your plate.
In Baja California in northern Mexico lives the rare vaquita, the world’s smallest cetacean. Sharing the same waters, the totoaba fish are also endangered and under protection. Even though commercial fishing for totoaba is banned, they are illegally poached for their swim bladders (fish maw).
Hong Kong imports 90 percent of its seafood. In truth, most of the fish are caught before they’ve had a chance to reach maturity. However, many restaurants are unwilling to provide “sustainable sushi” that abides by sustainable fisheries principles and social ethics. When Greenpeace investigated nine major sushi and Japanese restaurant chains in Taiwan, our results showed that none of their practices met the standards of sustainable fishing. The worst-performing chain was Sushi Express, with 300 franchises in Asia, including many in Hong Kong.
The rampant use of gillnets to illegally catch totoaba is the main threat to the survival of the vaquita. Vaquita can easily swim into the near-invisible gillnets by accident, but the more the tiny porpoise struggles to get out, the more the gillnet tightens, causing the vaquita to suffocate and die. Less than 100 vaquita remain in the wild, and only 25 of them are females of reproductive age, making recovery of this endangered species highly difficult.
Sustainable sushi – who says it’s impossible? In Portland, U.S., Bamboo Sushi is the first Marine Stewardship Council-certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. Not only do they ensure that their fish are all caught using ecological practices, they have also donated a portion of their revenue to establish a marine preserve in the Bahamas that’s the size of 21 Hong Kong Islands. The restaurant’s many other sustainable practices include purchasing 100% renewable electricity, setting a high bar for other sustainable sushi restaurants.
Without urgent action, the vaquita will disappear in 3 years The vaquita’s fate is on the brink. Last November, Greenpeace launched a global petition to ask the president of Mexico to ban all fishing activities that could harm the vaquita and turn their habitat into a protected area. Over 320,000 people responded to our call, creating international pressure on Mexico. In December, the president issued a draft plan for saving the vaquita, which includes a two-year ban on harmful fishing methods in their habitat. The plan will also compensate fishermen who are economically affected by the ban. This is the only first step to helping the vaquita escape extinction. Critically, the draft plan still lacks specific conservation measures and plans for future monitoring and enforcement. It will also be challenging to track the whereabouts of the illegally poached fish. We need your continued help in 2015 to keep pushing governments to end illegal fishing, so that the vaquita and other sea life can thrive without the threat of extinction.
Quick facts: Vaquita and porpoises
Biological classification: Both are in the order of cetaceans, but dolphins are in the family Delphinidae, while porpoises are in the family Phocoenidae. Appearance: Porpoises are usually smaller than dolphins, with a rounded head, duller teeth, and a less-protruding snout. Characteristics:：Vaquita are quite shy and will not leap out of the water sporadically like dolphins.
All over the world, there are many other examples of businesses and individuals trying to do the right thing to show us that sustainable seafood is not an impossible dream. Enjoying sushi and loving the oceans are not contradictory ideas. The next time you go out for sushi, please try eating less endangered fish and pay attention to the source of your seafood.
The top three sushi to avoid Tuna:
Most varieties of commonly eaten tuna are facing different degrees of overfishing and are considered vulnerable or endangered. Avoid completely.
Eel farming requires capturing juvenile eel from the wilds to be raised, depleting wild populations. Avoid completely or reduce consumption.
Raising one pound of farmed salmon requires three pounds of wild fish as feed. Please choose salmon from responsibly managed fisheries.
IMPACT REPORT SPRING 2015
Exposing the Chemical Pesticides Hidden on Vegetables Do you know how to choose the freshest and most delicious cucumber? Many people generally look for cucumbers that are straight and firm in a dark green color, with a small yellow flower on one end. But farmers also know what you’re looking for, and to produce a crop of cucumbers that fit your platonic Ideal, they will use nearly any means necessary. In the three short months that it takes to bring cucumbers from planting to harvest, over 30 different kinds of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals may have been applied to that delicious-looking cucumber.
As we feared, many of the vegetable samples tested positive for multiple pesticide residues. Comparing the laboratory results by city, we discovered that Guangzhou – the city most closely linked to Hong Kong – ranked the worst for pesticide contamination.
1. Vegetables testing positive for five or more types of pesticide residues
2. Vegetables testing positive for illegal pesticides
3. Vegetables containing pesticide residues at levels exceeding national standards
In mainland China, food safety scandals are no longer news. But many Hong Kong residents like to believe that anything imported from the Mainland to Hong Kong must be of higher quality and that the Hong Kong government is doing a trustworthy job of quality control. But is this really the case? Greenpeace collected 133 samples of vegetables, including tomatoes, green bell peppers, cucumbers, cabbages, and green beans, from markets in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Using GPS, we followed their supply trucks back to the farms in Shandong, Hebei, and Guangdong provinces. Investigating on the farms, we found discarded everywhere the empty bottles and plastic bags that used to contain agricultural chemicals. Farmers generally applied chemicals once per week, usually a mixture of various pesticides, fungicides, and other substances. They did not stop until a few days before harvest. The most horrifying sight was when entire cucumbers were immersed in pesticides, ensuring that they would not be marred by any blemishes or bug bites. 10
Why are Shanghai vegetables so much safer? After analyzing the three cities’ policies on vegetable farming and source traceability, we found that the Shanghai municipal government had made many efforts toward improving food safety. In addition to financial incentives for farmers to adopt ecological farming practices, Shanghai also established a “farm to table” traceability system for residents to understand the source of their food. If you purchased, for example, a cucumber at the local market, you would receive a slip of paper with a tracking code that you could then trace to its source using automated machines at the market. Consumers are thus able to voluntarily avoid any vegetables from potentially risky sources.
Can we trust the safety of Hong Kong’s imported produce? You may wonder how the food safety policies in these three Mainland cities affect Hong Kong. While vegetables produced for the Mainland and Hong Kong markets go through two separate systems, the farms are still regulated by the same local government, out of the direct jurisdiction of Hong Kong. As a result, we must lobby Mainland China governments to gradually reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and encourage a switch to ecological farming. In Hong Kong itself, we can encourage the government to increase local vegetable cultivation when it undertakes a review of agricultural policies later this year. Through subsidies, the government can encourage local and Mainland China farmers to switch to ecological agricultural practices. This transformation is the most important step to improving food safety. 11
IMPACT REPORT SPRING 2015
The madness of the rosewood industry You may have heard of someone becoming rich overnight through discovering an old pearwood chair in the family, or the news of a set of red rosewood furniture being valued at over 500 million RMB. In recent years, demand for ostentatious rosewood furniture has skyrocketed, leading the price of rosewood to soar by more than 10 times in just a decade. But each set of redwood furniture comes at a high cost: the felling of centuries-old trees and the destruction of ancient forests and its animals.
A set of rosewood furniture valued at 500 million RMB, a rosewood tree that must be protected by soldiers day and night – here are the startling numbers behind the madness of the rosewood industry, its extravagance, violence, and tragedy.
Behind the glossy veneer of the rosewood industry lies something far darker: illegal logging, smuggling, violence, the destruction of wildlife habitat, and the depletion of forest resources. While many countries in Southeast Asia and Africa have laws prohibiting the logging and trade of protected rosewood species, insatiable demand for rosewood has helped to create an underground market worth billions of dollars. As a result, rosewood trees in Asia and Africa have been heavily logged, with countless environmental consequences. Crime rings engaged in smuggling rosewood also increase fighting and violence. In Madagascar, rosewood logging has destroyed vast amounts of rainforests, leaving the island’s unique, endangered lemur species homeless. Though China is the world’s biggest buyer of rosewoods, Hong Kong is involved too. In 2009, when Greenpeace traced illegally logged rosewood from Madagascar, we found that Hong Kong is often the entry point for timber to enter China, where it is manufactured into high-end furniture before sale or export. In 2000, China introduced a national standard for rosewood that listed 33 tree species. The original goal was to regulate the market and protect consumers, but the unintended consequence drove up the market value of the selected trees, fueling an enormous increase in logging and smuggling. In the years since then, the endless logging has already driven 16 of the listed rosewoods to near extinction. Clearly, what China’s national standard designates as rosewood has important effects on the forests and animals in Asia, Africa, and the Amazon. When the government finally updated the standard for the first time in 14 years, Greenpeace tracked the process closely. The updated standard did not add new species, and for the first time, it included information on species conservation and trade regulation. Though these topics were quickly glossed over, it is still a slight improvement. Your support helps Greenpeace to continue pushing the Chinese government to strengthen protection for endangered trees and to implement controls on trade to prevent imports of illegal logging. We will also work to educate consumers to not blindly worship rosewood furniture.
June 2014: Singaporean customs confiscates a shipment of rosewood from Madagascar totaling some 29,000 logs.
October 2014: A 22-item set of yellow rosewood furniture was valued at 500 million RMB at an exhibition in Zhejiang province.
BILLION October 2014: Cambodian journalist Taing Try was murdered while investigating 23 oxcarts smuggling illegally logged rosewood to Vietnam. Rosewood trees in Cambodia are endangered, protected by laws that are not enforced.
August 2014: Guangzhou customs seizes illegal rosewood worth up to 1.05 billion RMB.
To protect Thailand’s largest remaining rosewood tree, a patrol of soldiers guard the tree day and night.
In 2013, the Thai military killed at least 69 illegal loggers who crossed the border from Cambodia.
May 2014: Customs officials in Kenya seized 34 shipping containers filled with endangered rosewood. It is likely that after arriving in Hong Kong, the wood would have been transferred to mainland China. PROTECTED ENDANGERED SPECIES
50CM In 2014, China imported 1.84 million cubic meters of rosewood, equal in volume to 736 swimming pools. Frighteningly, this is also nearly double the 2013 figure – a growth rate that the trees will never keep up with, as it takes over a century for a rosewood tree’s diameter to reach 50cm.
Of the 33 species classified by China as rosewoods, 16 are protected endangered species. 13
IMPACT REPORT SPRING 2015
Thank you for Helping to Shape Hong Kong’s Energy Future Like many cities of its size, Hong Kong uses an enormous amount of energy. As Hong Kong citizens, we all have the personal responsibility to reduce energy use and lower our carbon footprint. We would like to thank the 500 supporters who responded to our survey on how to continue to push Hong Kong’s government, businesses, and residents to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus our contribution to global climate change. Our campaigner Argo Yeung will walk you through the survey results.
1 / Top three recent climate and energy campaigns in Hong Kong that made the biggest impression upon you
Campaigning for the government to end the use of nuclear energy
Reform the electricity markets
Save energy: transform energy-use models and user behavior
Calling for the development of a renewable energy policy
Pushing for the electric utilities to set energy efficiency targets
2 / Who should be responsible for reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change? (5 being the most and 1 being the least) Electric Utility
2.97 Businesses and shops Residents
Argo Yeung: “While many of our supporters believe that the government holds the greatest responsibility for committing society to acting on climate change and reducing our carbon footprint, Hong Kong’s two electric utilities should also be held responsible, as their electricity rates affect consumer behavior. Reforming electricity rates is the only solution to this problem to encourage efficiency and conservation. At the same time, the real estate developments that use the most energy should set a standard by setting itself energy efficiency targets and adopting sustainable building practices. As a result, we have planned a series of strategies to push the government, utilities, and real estate companies to work together to reduce energy use and save our climate.” 14
Argo Yeung: “Many of you provided specific suggestions such as reducing glass-walled skyscrapers, installing more solar panels, and greening rooftops. These can all be considered part of the criteria for green buildings. In fact, buildings consume nearly 90% of all electricity in Hong Kong, and that’s why it’s critical for the government to develop and implement as soon as possible a green building development strategy and action plan. For example, Hong Kong’s Policy Address proposes that the city should add 480,000 housing units. If all of the proposed units were built to the Silver level of BEAM Plus, Hong Kong’s green building standard, this could save 400 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year – reducing as much greenhouse gas emissions as planting 12 million trees!”
4 / Percentage of members that agreed with the following statements:
92.2% Hong Kong has a great deal of potential for saving energy
Real Estate Developer / Building Management Company
Expand green buildings and improve energy efficiency
Develop renewable energy, such as wind and solar
Argo Yeung: “We have continuously stressed in Hong Kong that the dangers of nuclear energy are too great to risk, and since the Fukushima nuclear disaster more people have come to recognize this as well. With support from you and many other Hong Kong citizens, the Environment Bureau launched last March the Public Consultation on the Future Fuel Mix for Electricity Generation, which – finally – officially eliminated the scenario of increasing nuclear power in Hong Kong. The consultation also responded to public opinion by lowering its estimate of total future energy demand, reflecting the choice of an energy path towards a future of increased energy efficiency and less nuclear and coal.”
3 / What is the most important strategy for Hong Kong to mitigate climate change?
I am willing to make personal changes to live a low-carbon life
The lifestyle of the average Hong Kong resident uses a lot of energy
Hong Kong’s energy waste is becoming more and more serious
Argo Yeung: “More and more people are coming to realize that our daily energy consumption is a serious problem, and are willing to change their lifestyle and habits to protect the environment. But individual behavioral changes can’t reduce the energy wasted by Hong Kong’s biggest energy users, real estate developments such as shopping centers. Greenpeace believes that the government must step up to develop a long-term energy reduction strategy, with an overall goal of reducing electricity use by 30 percent in 15 years, as well as customized targets for each sector and industry through strategies such as developing green architecture.”
Argo Yeung: “We’d like to thank you once more for your continued participation and support. In 2015, Climate and Energy will remain our priority campaign in Hong Kong. The government will launch many public consultations this year, and we will seize the opportunity to continue to push Hong Kong to become an energy-conserving, low-carbon city and to create a sustainable, green world for our future generations.”
GREENPEACE EAST ASIA Address: 8/F, Pacific Plaza, 410-418 Des Voeux Road West, Hong Kong Supporter Services Hotline: 2854 8318 Email: [email protected]
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