Inclusion will give greater access to latest technologies Hong Kong will join an international network promoting the use of renewable energy today, before an international agreement to fight global warming takes effect next month. The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership was initiated by Britain at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. It aims to accelerate and expand the international market for renewable energy and energy-efficiency systems by matching donor funding with projects and sharing information and experiences between partners. Sarah Liao Sau-tung, Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, will sign up to the partnership today. Other members include the United States, Australia, Japan and the European Commission. The signing comes about three weeks before the Kyoto Protocol, an international convention fighting global warming, comes into force on February 16. A government spokeswoman said joining the partnership would give Hong Kong help with developments in renewable energy. 'It will enable Hong Kong to have better access to the latest policy and technology development relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency in other parts of the world,' she said. 'We believe that more energy-saving measures and wider use of renewable energy in Hong Kong will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and control greenhouse gas emissions.' Under the Kyoto Protocol, at least 30 developed countries will be required to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. The protocol, which the mainland has signed, will also be extended to Hong Kong under an agreement with the central government. The city will escape the reduction target imposed on developed countries as China is exempted because of its status as a developing nation. Last November, Deputy British Consul-General Greg Dorey called on Hong Kong to volunteer to sign up to developed-country targets to serve as a good example to polluters in the Pearl River Delta. Edwin Lau Che-feng, assistant director of Friends of the Earth, hoped the partnership could help Hong Kong regulate the market and promote renewable sources. However, he said it was crucial that the city shouldered its responsibility as a developed economy. 'Morally, it should take a bigger role in cutting greenhouse emissions and help China achieve more reductions,' he said. Under the government's proposal, Hong Kong will reach a renewable energy target of 1 per cent by 2012 and 3 per cent by 2022. It is estimated that the city's carbon dioxide emission will rise 39 per cent from the 2000 level by 2010.