Local Conference of Youth Hong Kong 2020
Endorsed by UN YOUNGO, jointly organised by CarbonCare InnoLab and Hong Kong Youth for Climate Action, our first Hong Kong Local Conference of Youth (LCOY HK) funded by Jocky Club Community and Sustainability Community Fund was held virtually on 31 October 2020 to empower youth through networking and knowledge-sharing. The full day event drew over a hundred youths of various education backgrounds and career sectors.
Starting with a climate song composed by Hong Kong youngsters, in the morning session, Co-founder and CEO of CarbonCare InnoLab, Mr Chong Chan Yau kicked off the conference by pointing out the C40 Mayors Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery, and urging Hong Kong youths to voice out on the global level. Apart from the macro perspective, an 11-year-old local climate activist Lance Lau also added his thoughts to call for individual actions in daily routine.
After the opening remarks and spiritual talk, there was a precious opportunity to gather nine youth climate leaders across Asian regions to share the youth climate actions in Asia. The speakers include:
- Ms Natalie Chung, Founding Member of Hong Kong Youth for Climate Action (Hong Kong)
- Ms Lu Mingyi, The deputy secretary-general of China Youth Climate Action Network (China)
- Resources (I-SER), Universitas Indonesia (Indonesia)
- Ms Allison Lin, Climate Youth Japan (Japan)
- Ms Lee Jihye, Project Manager of Green Environment Youth Korea (Korea)
- Ms Lia H. Zakiyyah, Research Associate of Institute of Sustainable Earth and
- Ms Lhavanya Dhamalingam, Malaysian Youth Delegation (Malaysia)
- Ms Mitzi Jonelle Tan, Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (Philippines)
- Ms Lastrina Nor, Co-founder of Singapore Youth for Climate Action (Singapore)
- Ms Chang Han Wei, Chair of the Board of Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition (Taiwan)
Each youth climate leader shared their challenges and local actions on climate change and green recovery, for example, climate camp in Indonesia, strike in Japan and conversation interaction with youths in the Philippines. In the small group discussion, each youth climate leader had a chance to closely interact with the participants. Participants expressed their observations and questions on specific regions. A participant raised the linkage between climate actions and social and political participation. The speaker from Taiwan brainstormed the relationship between democracy and climate change actions. Some thought that incentive weighed heavier to arouse public awareness. The interaction of each group was in-depth and inspiring.
Global climate actions are crucial to the living quality of global citizens as well. Following the regional sharing session, Ms Tiffany Wan, Programme Manager of CarbonCare InnoLab, introduced the concept of “Just Transition and Green Recovery” and aroused attendees’ awareness of climate refugees around the world. The transition to green solutions provided a just model of development to help all walks of life.
In in-parallel plenary sessions, eight speakers are invited to explore on three topics and reflect main climate solutions in our society:
1. Renewable energy & Decarbonisation
Mr Raymond Ho, Founder of RenewHK.net, points out the Paris Agreement and carbon reduction target in Hong Kong. Mr Michael Lai, former Secretary of 350HK, introduced various daily renewable energy applications, e.g. solar cookers. Ms Minsi Liu, PhD student of the Department of Geography of Baptist University of Hong Kong, revealed the possibility of developing passive-house buildings.
2. How Green Finance Contributes to Green Recovery?
Mr Robert Gibson, Adjunct Professor of Division of Environment and Sustainability in HK University of Science and Technology, urged on the preparation for the Inevitable Policy Response to excess carbon emissions by using scenario planning. Ms Sonalie Figueiras, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Green Queen, inspired thinking on green finance from the consumer perspective through her practical experience and market trend observation in the wellness industry. Ms Valerie Kwan, Senior Manager of Climate Action 100+ at Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, encouraged the market to explore the situation about investors on green recovery in the post COVID-19 era.
3. Commitment to Carbon Reduction: Monitoring, Evaluating and Reporting at City Level
Mr Lawrence Iu, Programme Officer of HK2050isNow shared Hong Kong's action on climate change and Mr John Sayer, Research Director of CarbonCare InnoLab added on the advocacy strategy on climate policy. Lawrence introduced "Pathways to net zero carbon emission by 2050", a research report developed by HK2050isNow in response to the Council for Sustainable Development’s public engagement on Long-term Decarbonisation Strategy. Lawrence reassured our youth, Hong Kong has a high potential to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Having affluent experience in NGOs, John advised the young participants how to start a climate advocacy. Paris Watch Hong Kong Climate Action Report and Report Card were shared as a sample to demonstrate various advocacy techniques.
The special highlight in the afternoon session is the Climate Negotiation and Position Paper Writing. COPs-attended speakers Ms Thea Cheung and Ms Natalie Chung, Founding Members of Hong Kong Youth for Climate Action, shared their past experience and learnings from the previous UNFCCC Conference of Parties they attended, and inspired youths to step out and position Hong Kong as a world-class city that shoulders its international responsibilities. Youth participants then turned their thoughts into action by writing position papers. Eight groups were formed and seven climate working groups were addressed, including:
- Action for climate empowerment
- Finance and markets
- Renewable energy
Eight group members contributed to the youth position paper writing and presented their climate position statement during the session. Youths share their views on the current situation and foreseeable development to combat climate change.
At the conference closure, Mr Chong Chan Yau motivated the participants to connect with climate peers. The collective Hong Kong youths’ power must fight against climate change.
Watch the video recordings: