Ernest Kao

Ernest Kao has reported for the Post since 2012. He focuses on environment, energy, science and urban planning and development issues.
Ernest Kao
Ernest Kao has reported for the Post since 2012. He focuses on environment, energy, science and urban planning and development issues.

Latest from Ernest Kao

Seas around Hong Kong swamped in microplastics as city’s obsession with unnecessary packaging leads to 11-fold increase in pollution, study shows

Study carried out by Greenpeace East Asia and Education University focuses on waters around Mirs Bay, Sai Kung and Lantau Island as researchers find pollution is most prevalent in eastern areas.

14 Mar 2019 - 2:21PM

Study carried out by Greenpeace East Asia and Education University focuses on waters around Mirs Bay, Sai Kung and Lantau Island as researchers find pollution is most prevalent in eastern areas.

Seas around Hong Kong swamped in microplastics as city’s obsession with unnecessary packaging leads to 11-fold increase in pollution, study shows
Leave eyeglasses out of medical voucher scheme for elderly rather than cap spending, Hong Kong’s optometrists say

Vincent Ng, vice-president of the Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists, says it is unfair to set a ceiling for their services.

12 Mar 2019 - 10:55PM

Vincent Ng, vice-president of the Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists, says it is unfair to set a ceiling for their services.

Leave eyeglasses out of medical voucher scheme for elderly rather than cap spending, Hong Kong’s optometrists say
Proposed cap on how much Hong Kong’s elderly can spend on eye tests leaves optometrists fuming

Health officials suggest HK$2,000 limit for medical vouchers scheme in bid to stop patients from spending money all in one place.

12 Mar 2019 - 10:04AM

Health officials suggest HK$2,000 limit for medical vouchers scheme in bid to stop patients from spending money all in one place.

Proposed cap on how much Hong Kong’s elderly can spend on eye tests leaves optometrists fuming
This Hong Kong scientist wanted to discover new ocean species. He found 7,300

Among discoveries from eight-year study is marine acidobacteria, which can be used to edit the genes of other organisms, previously known to exist only on land.

11 Mar 2019 - 7:51AM

Among discoveries from eight-year study is marine acidobacteria, which can be used to edit the genes of other organisms, previously known to exist only on land.

This Hong Kong scientist wanted to discover new ocean species. He found 7,300
More than half of new public housing tenants ‘stressed’ by unfamiliar environment, Hong Kong survey finds

Lack of amenities and no community help centres cited as reasons, with call to include social worker teams in such estates.

10 Mar 2019 - 9:09PM

Lack of amenities and no community help centres cited as reasons, with call to include social worker teams in such estates.

More than half of new public housing tenants ‘stressed’ by unfamiliar environment, Hong Kong survey finds
Conservationist Lew Young, who helped set up Hong Kong’s only Ramsar protected wetland, dies at age 60

The chief executive of the Ramsar Regional Initiative East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership suffered a fatal heart attack during a trip to Beijing.

7 Mar 2019 - 10:06PM

The chief executive of the Ramsar Regional Initiative East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership suffered a fatal heart attack during a trip to Beijing.

Conservationist Lew Young, who helped set up Hong Kong’s only Ramsar protected wetland, dies at age 60
Hong Kong’s air quality goals for 2025 cleared by environment advisory group, but fall short of WHO global guidelines

The objectives set concentration limits for seven major pollutants and the number of times their levels can be exceeded in a year.

5 Mar 2019 - 3:29AM

The objectives set concentration limits for seven major pollutants and the number of times their levels can be exceeded in a year.

Hong Kong’s air quality goals for 2025 cleared by environment advisory group, but fall short of WHO global guidelines
Sort your rubbish properly, Hong Kong’s glass recyclers tell residents amid supply and waste management woes

Materials such as ceramics and porcelain end up in collection points meant only for glass. Delay in waste charging law means people have less incentive to manage what they throw out.

4 Mar 2019 - 7:03AM

Materials such as ceramics and porcelain end up in collection points meant only for glass. Delay in waste charging law means people have less incentive to manage what they throw out.

Sort your rubbish properly, Hong Kong’s glass recyclers tell residents amid supply and waste management woes
Not the right time to help those priced off Hong Kong property ladder as that is market meddling, finance chief Paul Chan says

Finance secretary stands ground despite pressure from critics who say latest budget does not tackle housing crunch. He argues that measures can come any time later, but it would be irresponsible to roll out policies now.

3 Mar 2019 - 10:51PM

Finance secretary stands ground despite pressure from critics who say latest budget does not tackle housing crunch. He argues that measures can come any time later, but it would be irresponsible to roll out policies now.

Not the right time to help those priced off Hong Kong property ladder as that is market meddling, finance chief Paul Chan says
India-Pakistan tensions having an impact on air travel as flights to and from Hong Kong are diverted

Cathay Pacific says it has re-routed its Hong Kong-Dubai service south of Pakistan after Islamabad closed its airspace. Flights to and from Europe and the Middle East may also be affected.

28 Feb 2019 - 6:40PM

Cathay Pacific says it has re-routed its Hong Kong-Dubai service south of Pakistan after Islamabad closed its airspace. Flights to and from Europe and the Middle East may also be affected.

India-Pakistan tensions having an impact on air travel as flights to and from Hong Kong are diverted
Hong Kong finance chief Paul Chan dials down budget relief measures after smaller surplus

Minister offers taxpayers HK$33.9 billion in rates and tax concessions, nearly HK$10 billion less than last year’s package.

27 Feb 2019 - 11:33PM

Minister offers taxpayers HK$33.9 billion in rates and tax concessions, nearly HK$10 billion less than last year’s package.

Hong Kong finance chief Paul Chan dials down budget relief measures after smaller surplus
Outdated and opaque administration stops Hong Kong from using land efficiently, think tank says

Hong Kong Policy Research Institute calls for review of the system, citing fragmented administration and decades-old regulations.

24 Feb 2019 - 10:49PM

Hong Kong Policy Research Institute calls for review of the system, citing fragmented administration and decades-old regulations.

Outdated and opaque administration stops Hong Kong from using land efficiently, think tank says
Student at Hong Kong’s Renaissance College hooks up new HK$260,000 solar panels

Student project at Renaissance College to earn institution money via feed-in tariffs.

22 Feb 2019 - 9:02AM

Student project at Renaissance College to earn institution money via feed-in tariffs.

Student at Hong Kong’s Renaissance College hooks up new HK$260,000 solar panels
Just 24 teachers in four years finish course and collect Education Bureau grant to improve their skills teaching Chinese as a second language in Hong Kong, watchdog finds

Although 68 teachers had been approved a grant since 2014, the government watchdog found that just 24 completed programmes to enhance their skills teaching Chinese as a second language and received reimbursements.

19 Feb 2019 - 10:51PM

Although 68 teachers had been approved a grant since 2014, the government watchdog found that just 24 completed programmes to enhance their skills teaching Chinese as a second language and received reimbursements.

Just 24 teachers in four years finish course and collect Education Bureau grant to improve their skills teaching Chinese as a second language in Hong Kong, watchdog finds
Thunder and downpours in Hong Kong as Observatory issues first-ever February rainstorm warning

Amber signal issued on Tuesday as city wakes to thunder and downpours.

19 Feb 2019 - 9:12PM

Amber signal issued on Tuesday as city wakes to thunder and downpours.

Thunder and downpours in Hong Kong as Observatory issues first-ever February rainstorm warning
Log cabins, zip lines and glamping among proposals for improving Hong Kong’s country parks, but campers may soon have to book to get a spot

Suggestions all part of public consultation on how to enhance ‘recreation and educational potential’ of city’s green spaces, but Hong Kong’s campers may also have to reserve a spot at campsites in the future.

18 Feb 2019 - 11:12PM

Suggestions all part of public consultation on how to enhance ‘recreation and educational potential’ of city’s green spaces, but Hong Kong’s campers may also have to reserve a spot at campsites in the future.

Log cabins, zip lines and glamping among proposals for improving Hong Kong’s country parks, but campers may soon have to book to get a spot
HK$4.2 million in cash and valuables stolen from finance magnate Akihiro Nagahara’s luxury home on The Peak

Break-in comes soon after 13-hour police anti-burglary operation in the area.

18 Feb 2019 - 9:45PM

Break-in comes soon after 13-hour police anti-burglary operation in the area.

HK$4.2 million in cash and valuables stolen from finance magnate Akihiro Nagahara’s luxury home on The Peak
Clunky washing machines and fridges form bulk of Hong Kong’s electrical waste items at government’s recycling plant

Operator says trend is unexpected, but not beyond the facility to process, with an aim to expand scope to other items such as dehumidifiers and industrial equipment.

17 Feb 2019 - 10:32PM

Operator says trend is unexpected, but not beyond the facility to process, with an aim to expand scope to other items such as dehumidifiers and industrial equipment.

Clunky washing machines and fridges form bulk of Hong Kong’s electrical waste items at government’s recycling plant
Will Hong Kong’s largest private recycling plant solve woes over plastic bottles waste?

German recycling giant Alba intends to create food-grade material from waste plastics that can be fed back into local manufacturing sector. But green group says challenge will be on how to collect waste from community and feed plant.

18 Feb 2019 - 9:32AM

German recycling giant Alba intends to create food-grade material from waste plastics that can be fed back into local manufacturing sector. But green group says challenge will be on how to collect waste from community and feed plant.

Will Hong Kong’s largest private recycling plant solve woes over plastic bottles waste?
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte spotted shopping in Hong Kong for second time in less than five months as partner Honeylet Avancena celebrates birthday

Duterte was spotted in fashionwear chain Uniqlo’s shop at the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay at around 6pm with his bodyguards

17 Feb 2019 - 11:09PM

Duterte was spotted in fashionwear chain Uniqlo’s shop at the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay at around 6pm with his bodyguards

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte spotted shopping in Hong Kong for second time in less than five months as partner Honeylet Avancena celebrates birthday
Luxury hotel Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong fined HK$15,000 for pumping grease-filled waste water into city’s sewers

Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong hit with HK$15,000 penalty at court on Thursday, after oil and grease found in concentrations 3.8 times the upper limit on its discharge licence

14 Feb 2019 - 10:32PM

Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong hit with HK$15,000 penalty at court on Thursday, after oil and grease found in concentrations 3.8 times the upper limit on its discharge licence

Luxury hotel Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong fined HK$15,000 for pumping grease-filled waste water into city’s sewers
Two porpoise carcasses found on separate Hong Kong shores, bringing number of cases this year to 15 – an alarming trend, green groups warn

High of 15 incidents of dead marine mammals found on coasts this year. Most cases record blunt force trauma, indicating collisions with vessels, but lack of other related injuries lends little weight to the theory.

12 Feb 2019 - 11:59AM

High of 15 incidents of dead marine mammals found on coasts this year. Most cases record blunt force trauma, indicating collisions with vessels, but lack of other related injuries lends little weight to the theory.

Two porpoise carcasses found on separate Hong Kong shores, bringing number of cases this year to 15 – an alarming trend, green groups warn
Is Hong Kong’s fishing industry being thrown a lifeline and will the farmers take the bait?

Farmers furious over Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department’s plan to tighten licensing requirements, and some suspect officials want to kill industry through regulation to make land reclamation easier. Not so, say authorities.

11 Feb 2019 - 3:00PM

Farmers furious over Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department’s plan to tighten licensing requirements, and some suspect officials want to kill industry through regulation to make land reclamation easier. Not so, say authorities.

Is Hong Kong’s fishing industry being thrown a lifeline and will the farmers take the bait?
Bulls invading ParknShop supermarket a one-off, Hong Kong conservation chief insists

But director of agriculture, fisheries and conservation says city’s wild pig problem is worsening.

10 Feb 2019 - 6:04PM

But director of agriculture, fisheries and conservation says city’s wild pig problem is worsening.

Bulls invading ParknShop supermarket a one-off, Hong Kong conservation chief insists
Hong Kong police investigate damage to overhead power cable that disrupted service on MTR’s East Rail line

Vandalism suspected as 17-metre-long metal handrail found on tracks near Tai Po Market station.

10 Feb 2019 - 9:58PM

Vandalism suspected as 17-metre-long metal handrail found on tracks near Tai Po Market station.

Hong Kong police investigate damage to overhead power cable that disrupted service on MTR’s East Rail line
How Hong Kong electricity company CLP is saving millions of dollars, and potentially lives, with HK$80,000 drones at Tuen Mun’s Castle Peak Power Station

Using drones has helped firm slash maintenance and inspection costs by forgoing the need to send humans to do potentially perilous tasks, but operators must qualify in pilot competency with the Civil Aviation Department as any drone weighing more than 7kg is classed as an aircraft.

8 Feb 2019 - 10:59AM

Using drones has helped firm slash maintenance and inspection costs by forgoing the need to send humans to do potentially perilous tasks, but operators must qualify in pilot competency with the Civil Aviation Department as any drone weighing more than 7kg is classed as an aircraft.

How Hong Kong electricity company CLP is saving millions of dollars, and potentially lives, with HK$80,000 drones at Tuen Mun’s Castle Peak Power Station
How your smartphone battery can power the re-industrialisation of Hong Kong’s economy – and the entrepreneurial brothers who want to make it happen

Eric Wong, the man behind Fotomax, has come out of retirement to work on a process alongside his brother Tony for reusing lithium-ion batteries.

7 Feb 2019 - 11:46AM

Eric Wong, the man behind Fotomax, has come out of retirement to work on a process alongside his brother Tony for reusing lithium-ion batteries.

How your smartphone battery can power the re-industrialisation of Hong Kong’s economy – and the entrepreneurial brothers who want to make it happen
Family reunions, festive meals and last-minute shopping as Hongkongers usher in Year of the Pig

Citizens celebrate at Lunar New Year fairs and with religious rites at temples. Carrie Lam wishes everyone a healthy and prosperous year as the city experiences the warmest Spring Festival season in 66 years.

5 Feb 2019 - 7:26AM

Citizens celebrate at Lunar New Year fairs and with religious rites at temples. Carrie Lam wishes everyone a healthy and prosperous year as the city experiences the warmest Spring Festival season in 66 years.

Family reunions, festive meals and last-minute shopping as Hongkongers usher in Year of the Pig
Hong Kong news reporter takes police chief to court over alleged assault by officers during Mong Kok riot

Lincoln Tang says officers dragged him off a bus, pushed him to the ground, kicked and then beat him with batons.

4 Feb 2019 - 8:36PM

Lincoln Tang says officers dragged him off a bus, pushed him to the ground, kicked and then beat him with batons.

Hong Kong news reporter takes police chief to court over alleged assault by officers during Mong Kok riot
Hong Kong man drowns during night dive off Po Toi island, in second such incident this year

Diver, in his 40s, rushed back to shore in Stanley but was later certified dead in hospital despite attempts at emergency resuscitation, police said.

4 Feb 2019 - 12:06AM

Diver, in his 40s, rushed back to shore in Stanley but was later certified dead in hospital despite attempts at emergency resuscitation, police said.

Hong Kong man drowns during night dive off Po Toi island, in second such incident this year