May 17, 2017  |  

Climate Change Conference – a view from the Hong Kong YMCA

This blog was written by Regina from the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong

City dynamic and innovative ideas for urban sustainability

It’s the first time for me as a delegate from the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong to participate in the Climate Change Conference. Technically, Hong Kong is classified as “Global North”, but the relative backwardness of the urban sustainability compared to other leading countries such as Germany and Norway is a barrier for Hong Kong. preventing persistent economic growth. As one of the most competitive cities in the world, urban sustainability is the key to prosperity. This meeting is a platform to facilitate an exchange of ideas and successful implementation for other nations. Here are some innovative ideas that I found interesting in the conference and could be implemented in the context of Hong Kong.

China & Malaysia- Traffic congestion

To solve the problem of traffic congestion caused by rural immigration to urban regions, the Chinese government could, in a new approach for sustainable development, strike a balance between economic growth and quality of life. With a population of 1.3 billion, they might initiate the “BTS” to provide technology to support the bus system, preserving a special lane for public transport. Effective urban planning is crucial to reduce poverty and pollution. These technologies are now adopted in some Asian and African countries including Malaysia and seek to extend to the rest of the world.

China-New public bicycle technology.

Due to the limited docks and parking facilitates in the major cities in China, corporations in China could develop a system of mobile payment to allow bicycle users to have access to bicycle facilities in a more convenient and effective way. Registered credit card users can access the bicycles whenever they see them in the street. This would cause a 650% increase in the usage of bicycles as a substitute for the motor car within one year and effectively improve the road health conditions.

Indonesia- Climate friendly and energy efficient cooling

In urban areas, an increasing population and middle class have driven the demand for a cooling system in the city. Around 40% of the electricity consumption is for refrigerators and air conditioners (RAC). The emission of Green House Gases (GHG) is estimated to take 15.4% of the national GHG emission. Through promoting effective RAC technology, the GHG emission could be dramatically reduced by half.

The Global South is rising including China. The World Alliance of YMCAs provides a great chance for us as participants from a developing country to explore the current development of the rest of the world. Learning from the expertise and experience of other countries could provide some insights for us to implement improvements. The government response to environmental degradation is often weak and disconnected, and oblivious to the critical impact that climate change, pollution and other environmental problems have on human rights.


Mike Roberts
Mike Roberts
There are few professions where you get to make a real difference, impacting individuals, families and communities on a global scale. The YMCA has given me so many opportunities - organizing soccer camps in Haiti, teen leaders programs in Zimbabwe, helping to develop cancer survivor exercise opportunities in America. The Y is so much more.

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