Activists and students to attend Bali climate talks

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2007, 12:00am

A delegation of 20 local activists and students plus a handful of Hong Kong environment officials will attend the UN Climate Change Conference starting next week on the Indonesian island of Bali.

More than 180 countries will send delegates to the two-week conference that aims to set a framework for post-Kyoto Protocol arrangements to tackle climate change.

Twelve students from University of Hong Kong led by Chong Chan-yau, director of student development, will observe how international treaties and accords are negotiated.

Two veteran social activists, Albert Lai Kwong-tak and Plato Yip Kwong-to of the People's Council for Sustainable Development, will also attend the conference.

The group will stage an exhibition of the impact of climate change on Hong Kong and the mainland, and voice their concerns at sessions for NGOs.

The mainland will be a key player at the talks, and all eyes will be on how it responds to calls for a reduction in emissions.

'We are trying to arrange a meeting between the student groups and the Chinese delegation to help them understand more about China's stance in the climate talks,' Mr Yip said.

Cynthiana Yau, a first-year business administration and law student at the university, said the conference was a chance for local students to learn about intergovernmental conferences and to voice their views.

Environmental Protection Department deputy director Carlson Chan Ka-shun and two other government officials will be part of the Chinese delegation.

'By virtue of the extension of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol to Hong Kong, representatives of the EPD will participate as part of the Chinese delegation,' a spokeswoman said.

Other Hongkongers attending the conference include Christine Loh Kung-wai, head of the think-tank Civic Exchange, who will present a paper on climate policy in Asia at the invitation of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Liam Salter, head of climate programme at WWF Hong Kong, has also been invited to speak.

Gail Kendall, director for environment at CLP Power, will also attend as part of the council's delegation. The company said that to date it was the only electricity generator taking part.