First carbon audit guidelines launched
The first carbon audit guidelines for conducting carbon audits on buildings in Hong Kong were officially launched today (July 24).
The guidelines, jointly drawn up by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), are based on internationally recognised approaches.
The Secretary for the Environment Mr Edward Yau said that through carbon audits, the users and managers of buildings could calculate the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted as a result of the operation of their buildings so as to explore room for improvement and develop further emission reduction activities. "Many GHG reduction measures can, in fact, help reduce air pollutant emissions and at the same time improve our air quality," Mr Yau said.
The annual GHG emission in Hong Kong is about 45 million tonnes. Electricity generation, which is the largest local GHG emission source, accounts for more than 60% of the local GHG emissions. "In terms of the end-uses of electricity, buildings take up 89% of the total electricity consumed in Hong Kong. Reducing the level of electricity consumed for operation of buildings is crucial to reducing our GHG emissions," Mr Yau said.
Also attending today's "Green Hong Kong • Carbon Audit" event were 37 organisations from the property development and management sectors, professional bodies, universities, non-profit organisations and other commercial sectors (Annex 1). They have taken the lead to become the "Carbon Audit • Green Partners". They have undertaken to conduct or assist in conducting carbon audits on their buildings and to initiate carbon reduction programmes in the coming two years according to the "Carbon Reduction Charter".
More than 100 buildings, including more than 10 government buildings, will carry out carbon audits this year (Annex 2). Details of the carbon reduction programmes will be uploaded onto EPD's website for reference by other participants and the public.
Mr Yau said the goal of combating climate change could be achieved only through the concerted efforts of government, different sectors of the community and the public at large. "I am pleased to have so many organisations taking the lead to be our "Carbon Audit • Green Partners" and joining together in our efforts to reduce GHG emissions from buildings."
In the 2007-08 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced that the Government would set an example by conducting a carbon audit on the Central Government Complex at Tamar and implement an emission reduction campaign. Private developers have also been encouraged to identify suitable commercial buildings to join this campaign.
To assist the users and managers of buildings in enhancing their awareness of GHG emissions, measuring GHG emission performance of their buildings and actively participating in the emission reduction campaign, the Government has prepared the "Guidelines to Account for and Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals for Buildings of Commercial, Residential or Institutional Purposes in Hong Kong". The guidelines provide a systematic and scientific approach to account for and report on the GHG emissions and removals from buildings. In drawing up these guidelines, reference has been made to internationally recognised approaches such as those developed by the World Resources Institute and the International Organisation for Standardisation.
People can also help reduce GHG emissions in their daily lives by conserving the use of energy, water and paper, proper use and maintenance of the air-conditioning system, separate recovery of waste as well as switching off idling engines.
Details of the "Green Hong Kong • Carbon Audit", "the Guidelines" and "Carbon Reduction Tips" have been uploaded onto EPD's website www.epd.gov.hk.
Ends/Thursday, July 24, 2008
The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, speaks at the launching ceremony of "Green Hong Kong • Carbon Audit".
The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, officiates at the launching ceremony of "Green Hong Kong • Carbon Audit".
The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau (sixth right, back row) , the Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Ms Anissa Wong (seventh right, back row) and representatives of organisations and the commercial sector attending the launching ceremony of "Green Hong Kong • Carbon Audit".