Greenpeace calls on Hong Kong to follow mainland's lead

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2007, 12:00am

The mainland's pledge to phase out incandescent light bulbs has renewed calls in Hong Kong to impose a similar ban or step up measures to improve energy efficiency.

Activists from Greenpeace in Hong Kong said the city, despite being the richest in the nation, has been lagging behind the mainland in green issues.

'It is really time for the Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to show his political will in supporting renewable energy development and energy efficiency. And a ban on light bulbs is the easiest thing to do,' said Frances Yeung Hoi-shan, climate campaigner for Greenpeace.

Eight activists dressed as trees yesterday protested outside the government headquarters and ridiculed Mr Tsang's remarks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting in Australia last month that the city was planting trees to mitigate climate change.

They called on the chief executive to formulate a comprehensive strategy on climate change in his policy address next week.

Monique Barbut, chief executive of the Global Environment Facility - an independent organisation that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit the global environment - revealed that the mainland had agreed to a programme to phase out inefficient light bulbs within 10 years, making it the first developing nation to make such a pledge.

Man Chi-sum, chairman of the energy efficiency and conservation subcommittee of the Energy Advisory Committee, said it was a 'shame' that Hong Kong seemed to be doing less than the mainland to promote energy-efficient light bulbs.

But he believed legislating the ban was not the most appropriate approach as it allowed little flexibility for some lighting devices on which only older-style light bulbs can be used.

Hong Kong last year imported 119 million incandescent light bulbs for local use and re-export.

The government is now pushing through a law on mandatory energy efficiency labelling on light bulbs, refrigerators and air conditioners.