124. Climate change has brought about global environmental challenges, with extreme weather phenomena increasing in frequency and intensity. Hong Kong has been working towards the goal of the Paris Agreement. In Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2030+ announced in 2017, the Government set out the target to reduce Hong Kong's carbon intensity by 65 per cent to 70 per cent by 2030 against a 2005 baseline, i.e. an overall carbon emission reduction of 26 per cent to 36 per cent. Enhancement in climate resilience will not only turn Hong Kong into a more liveable city, but also contribute to our sustainable development.
125. The Council for Sustainable Development has conducted a public engagement exercise on Hong Kong's long-term decarbonisation strategy. It is analysing the views collected to help the Government formulate a long-term decarbonisation strategy.
Setting Up the Green Tech Fund
126. To promote the development of decarbonisation and green technologies, expedite low-carbon transformation and enhance environmental protection, I propose setting up a $200 million Green Tech Fund to support R&D and application of decarbonisation and green technologies, and the sharing of R&D findings.
Promoting the Use of Electric Vehicles
127. On promoting the use of electric vehicles (EVs), the Government has offered tax concessions, provided subsidies for franchised bus companies for trials of single-deck electric buses and enhanced the public EV charging network. The number of electric private cars in Hong Kong grew from 70 in 2010 to 13 600 last year, accounting for 2.1 per cent of the total number of private cars. Such adoption rate comes second to Beijing among major Asian cities. The Government will update the Clean Air Plan to, among other things, examine the policy of further promoting the use of EVs. We will also formulate Hong Kong's first roadmap on the popularisation of EVs.
128. As regards charging facilities, we will launch a $2 billion pilot scheme this year. The scheme aims to subsidise the installation of charging-enabling infrastructure in eligible car parks of private residential buildings, with a view to facilitating the installation of chargers by owners of individual parking spaces.
129. We are researching into electric public light buses that are suitable for local use and the basic specifications and requirements of the associated charging facilities. Relevant guidelines will be formulated. The Government will earmark $80 million for a pilot scheme under which green PLBs running on fixed routes will pioneer the switch to EVs.
Phasing Out Euro IV Diesel Commercial Vehicles
130. The Government is preparing for the launch of a scheme in the second half of this year to phase out about 40 000 Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles. I have set aside $7.1 billion for ex-gratia payment to the vehicle owners concerned.
Pilot Scheme for Electric Ferries
131. To reduce emissions from ferries, the Government plans to launch a pilot scheme for electric ferries serving ferry routes in the Victoria Harbour. I have earmarked $350 million for this purpose. Relevant departments will work out details of the scheme.
Waste Paper Recycling
132. To support the waste paper recycling industry, I propose to set aside a sum of not less than $300 million each year starting from 2020-21 for implementing a scheme to recycle waste paper. The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) will engage service contractors to collect waste paper across the territory for screening, sorting and baling before exporting to other places for recycling. This will help stabilise the quantity and price of local waste paper and support the waste paper. The EPD plans to commence the scheme in the second half of this year.
Cleaner Production Partnership Programme
133. The Cleaner Production Partnership Programme encourages Hong Kong-owned factories to adopt cleaner production technologies, so as to help improve the regional environment. I have earmarked $300 million to extend the programme for five years up to March 2025.
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