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Hong Kong greenhouse gas emissions rise for a third year

Government figures for 2013 put total carbon dioxide emissions at 44.4 million tonnes – the bulk coming from electricity generation

The city’s greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, reaching 44.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2013, the latest government figures show.

Each Hongkonger produced about 6.2 tonnes in that year, the latest for which data is available. It is up from six tonnes in the year before, according to the Environmental Protection Department’s latest greenhouse gas emissions inventory.

Total emissions rose for the third year in a row since 2010, when emissions totalled 40.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The city saw a 1.2-million-tonne increase in 2013 from the year before, which is equivalent to 135 million gallons of gasoline or emissions from 126,700 homes’ energy use in a year, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s calculator.

Electricity generation remained the major source of emissions in 2013, amounting to 30.3 million tonnes, 68.3 per cent of the total.This is up from 29.4 million tonnes in the previous year.

Emissions from transport and other uses of fuel totalled 9.8 million tonnes, or 22 per cent of the total.

Prentice Koo Wai-muk, senior energy campaigner for World Wildlife Fund Hong Kong, said the city’s two electricity suppliers – CLP Power and HK Electric – used more coal instead of cleaner natural gas to generate electricity in 2013, contributing to higher emissions.

“We expect the amount of emissions to drop after 2015 because the government started to limit power companies’ air pollutant emissions,” said Koo. “To reduce such emissions, the most obvious way for power companies is to use less coal.”

Emissions from waste totalled 2.5 million tonnes, up from 2.3 million tonnes in 2012. Industrial processes and product use generated 1.7 million tonnes, also higher than the 1.6 million in 2012.

Carbon intensity remained steady from 2010 to 2013 at 0.021kg per Hong Kong dollar unit of gross domestic product.
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