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Can introducing tree ordinance help protect our trees in the city?


Last year, the Argentine court ruled that an orangutan named Sandra should be recognised as ‘non-human person’ and thus deserved some basic rights, a ground-breaking move celebrated by many activists as a triumphing moment in their history of animal rights’ activism. Should trees, as provision of habitat to numerous organisms, be granted legitimated rights of living too? This week, the Centre examines whether legislation helps to improve tree protection in urban environment.

Divest to save this planet?


Is divesting from fossil fuel stocks the way to save the planet’s climate? The Centre’s weekly analysis highlights the ongoing global divestment campaign and explains why campaigners are pressuring universities and charity funds to remove their money from fossil fuels. Fossil fuel companies are unlikely to budge on small-scale divestment, but the associated stigmas may be the real sting in the tail.

Selling self-produced green electricity is the real deal


Generating clean power while getting paid sounds too good to be true, but it could happen to you and me. The Centre’s weekly analysis looks at the constraints and opportunities for Hong Kong to produce electricity with renewables, and discusses how common folks can be a potential supplier of such energy. With the use of Feed-in tariffs, clean electricity can be sold to utilities, which helps the development of renewable energy market.

Knowledge means less power


‘Knowledge is power’ so it goes, but knowledge can also help us use less power. The Centre's weekly analysis shows that in recent years, electricity consumption per household has risen, while electricity-saving in offices has reached a bottleneck. More data, information and transparency would further promote energy conservation. Energy labels on appliances can help households make greener choices, while smart meters and the development of standards and expertise in energy-efficiency investments can encourage commercial buildings to go green.

Measuring energy savings: ‘new normal’ and old tricks


Conserving energy is one of the best ways to fight climate change, but to play the game requires an understanding of the rules - in this instance, what energy-saving figures mean and how they are retrieved. The Centre’s weekly analysis examines the future energy conservation target for Hong Kong as set in the recently released energy saving plan, and how the Government calculated its energy savings in the past - targets and figures suggesting energy conservation could mask an actual increase in energy use.

A messy bill: Climate politicking between developed and developing countries


Developed countries have always footed the climate finance bill - fair enough considering their past emissions. But do recent emissions figures suggest rapidly developing countries should split the bill? The Centre’s weekly analysis continues to cite international climate treaties, fund transfer arrangements and carbon dioxide emission figures to look at the emissions of the BRICS countries, and whether they should continue to accept financial help from developed countries to tackle climate change. The article points out that developed countries such as the United States are unhappy to fund China, while China and other BRICS countries are trying to develop their own climate finance mechanisms to expand their international clout.

Don’t be fooled by fancy packaging


Starting from April Fools’ Day this year, each single plastic bag requested from retailers will be charged, marking the full implementation of the Government’s ‘Plastic Shopping Bag Charging’ scheme. This week, the Centre’s analysis examines this new arrangement and the transition issues that may occur. Waste charging, a bigger challenge of sustainable waste management in this city, will also be discussed.

Climate finance: Footing the bill for climate change


Who should pay the bill for climate change? The Centre’s weekly analysis uses international climate treaties, fund transfer arrangements and past carbon dioxide emission records to explore why and how developed countries are providing funds to developing countries to tackle climate change. The article points out that from their past emissions, the amount paid by some developed countries may not match their respective responsibility.

Let it flow?


Have you ever thought of peeing in the shower to save water? A university student in England proposed a ‘Go with the Flow’ campaign calling the school’s 15,000 students to take their wee in the morning shower to reduce water consumption. This week, the Centre examines the awareness of water conservation among Hong Kong people and the threats to Hong Kong water supply.