He has sweated in a taxi with its engine switched off and commuted on the MTR on Car-Free Day. Now the environment minister is throwing his weight behind No Air Con Day.
Edward Yau Tang-wah, the subject of controversy over the idling-engine ban and light-bulb vouchers, has not just agreed to support the air-con campaign led by NGOs - the Environment Bureau has urged other departments to follow Yau's lead and switch off their air conditioners for 12 hours from 7pm on Wednesday.
Roy Tam Hoi-pong, president of campaign organiser Green Sense, has called on Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to also take part, but the chief executive's office was not available for comment yesterday. Tam has asked CLP Power and Hongkong Electric to provide power consumption data for the night to help assess the effectiveness of the campaign, which aims to involve 200,000 people and cut 1,100 tonnes of carbon emissions.
Tam said temperatures on the night were expected to range from 25 to 29 degrees Celsius. 'The temperature might go down to 25 to 26 degrees at night.
That will be comfortable enough with no air conditioning and just electric fans,' he said.
Another official who has agreed to participate is Observatory director Dr Lee Boon-ying. He lives in an apartment next to the Observatory in Tsim Sha Tsui that is surrounded by vegetation but also nearby high-rises.
Eight universities with more than 5,000 students in dormitories, 45 companies, political parties and unions have also pledged to take part.
Hong Kong is affected by both global warming and the so-called heat-island effect on large cities, with the number of nights with temperatures over 28 degrees increasing significantly over the past three decades.
During summer, air conditioning accounts for about 60 per cent of power consumption.