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The first Talanoa Climate Dialogue held in Hong Kong (14/9/2018)
Date: September 14, 2018

The first Hong Kong Talanoa Dialogue, promoted by the United Nations for climate action, took place in Asia Society Hong Kong Centre, Admiralty on 14 September 2018.

A group of 30 people from a variety of stakeholders among the welfare sector, business community and academic field met for a day. Using the Talanoa (meaning the sharing of knowledge and experiences through an inclusive, participatory and transparent process) guidelines and methods, they discussed Hong Kong’s ambition level on climate change action while referring to the principles of Paris Agreement. Also, stories about the environment of the past, present and future, from near and far were told during the dialogue. The aim of the meeting was to explore the solutions of encouraging greater awareness and achieving higher ambition levels for climate action in Hong Kong.

The day began with a brief introduction of the purpose of the Talanoa Dialogue. Then, all the participants gathered round in a circle, closed their eyes and had a silent thought for a minute. During this minute, they honored the beauty of natural environment and thought about the ways to support it through this challenging time. The whole meeting centered in three major questions proposed by the UNFCCC for the Talanoa Dialogue: Where are we now? Where do we want to get to? How do we get there?

Where are we now?

In the first session, participants had discussions in groups of four. They shared the progress of dealing with climate change in their own perspective and gave a presentation about whether Talanoa Dialogue fit the UNFCCC process as well as how Hong Kong fulfilled their practice under the Paris Agreement.

Where do we want to get to?

The second session carried on with organizers telling stories about some successful experience around the world, including environmental policies, progress, initiatives and solutions that might be able to apply in Hong Kong. Those stories provided various directions for everyone to consider their anticipated result of preventing sustained climate change.

How do we get there?

For the third session, participants continued the dialogue by bringing forward some solid plans of maintaining a low carbon society. The activity required them to write their plans on a small piece of paper and placed them on the drawing of a tree, which symbolized a blessing that those effective solutions would bring a positive consequence to the environment like a fruitful tree.

The meeting expressed a common sense of urgency and commitment, along with a belief in the need to accelerate action to make sure Hong Kong remains a healthy, safe, environmental-friendly and sustainable city for current and future generations.

The dialogue affirmed the need of trust building and new forms of cooperation for action on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The meeting came up with a series of feasible proposals to build Hong Kong as a carbon neutral city in the future.

A report from the meeting is being compiled and agreed by participants. It will then be sent to the UNFCCC 2018 Talanoa Dialogue platform as a contribution to the synthesis report. The mentioned reported submitted to the parties under the Paris Agreement will be announced during their COP 24 talks in December.

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