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7 Hong Kong Youth Delegates Hoping to show world leaders the determination of Hong Kong Youth in driving local climate actions

The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 30th November to 12th December. Global leaders will gather once again to review the first Global Stocktake (GST), and evaluate the progress of countries and regions on tackling climate change, mitigating global warming and reducing carbon emissions.

Last year in COP27, parties had reached an agreement to establish the Loss and Damage Fund to assist climate-vulnerable countries in responding to climate disasters. More countries showed support for gradually phasing out fossil fuels. Nonetheless, most countries are yet to submit more ambitious carbon targets (Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs). This year, the focus areas of COP28 will be climate adaptation, the Loss and Damage Fund, phasing out fossil fuels, and evaluation of Global Stocktake. All four areas play a significant role in keeping our progress on track towards the 1.5°C target.

CarbonCare InnoLab (CCIL) has selected 6 outstanding alumni from cohort 2 to 4 of the ‘’Climate Advocacy Training for Youth'' programme to attend COP28 in Dubai UAE as Hong Kong’s Youth Delegates this year. We have also invited last year’s youth delegate Hiuching Chan to join the team to carry on her work on youth empowerment and climate justice. In response to the 2023 Policy Address and our present climate policies, youth delegates have come up with the “Hong Kong Youth Statement on Climate Actions 2023”. The Statement urged top officials to act ambitiously in addressing climate change, enhancing communication and cooperation among world cities and governments, as well as demonstrating the determination to meet the 1.5°C target as stated in the Paris Agreement. The Statement will be submitted to the United Nations Youth Organisation (UN YOUNGO), bringing Hong Kong’s climate actions and youth voices to COP28. To advocate for more inclusive, innovative and effective climate policies locally, the youth delegates hope to engage in discussions with peers that are active in international climate actions, to learn from their experiences and best practices.

The “Hong Kong Youth Statement on Climate Actions 2023” includes five main demands:

  1. Develop a comprehensive, resilient, and people-centred adaptation plan
  2. Include human rights consideration in climate action plan to promote climate justice
  3. Increase efforts to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 and keep 1.5°C temperature target reachable
  4. Enhance the transparency of climate finance and speed up the decarbonisation progress in financial sector
  5. Increase public participation in climate action through comprehensive climate trainings and education

Mr. Thierry Leung, Senior Social Worker (Project Manager) of CCIL, stated that the eight selected Hong Kong youth delegates have been actively following the current situation of our climate, and were eager to explore the feasibility of different policies in mitigating global warming. In the past few months, seven youth delegates have met with stakeholders including the Under Secretary of Environment and Ecology Bureau and the Consulate General of the UAE in Hong Kong. They have also communicated with hundreds of youth fellows at Local Conference of Youth 2023 (LCOY 2023) to collect their opinions on climate matters, hoping to bring voices of Hong Kong youth to the international conference.

The UN has emphasised that the role of youth and their voices are essential when discussing climate change strategies. CCIL fully supports the climate journey of seven youth delegates and hopes that through witnessing the intergovernmental climate negotiations and connecting with worldwide youth climate advocates, the team will bring back insights and inspire more youth to participate actively in Hong Kong’s sustainable development.

Mr. Chong Chan Yau, co-founder and CEO of CCIL, said that CCIL is making efforts in raising Hong Kong youth awareness on climate matters and providing them opportunities to engage in different international climate events. He believes this will allow young people to gain a more comprehensive understanding on global climate issues, and push forward efforts in achieving the Net-zero goal of Hong Kong.