WWF’s Response to the HKSAR 2018-19 Budget | WWF Hong Kong

WWF’s Response to the HKSAR 2018-19 Budget

28 February 2018

Earlier today, the Financial Secretary announced the 2018-2019 Budget of the HKSAR and outlined the government’s commitments to making Hong Kong a green investment centre and tackling climate change with measures to promote the uses of renewable energy and electric vehicles.
Electric Vehicles (EV)
WWF is glad that the government increased the first registration tax waiver from $97,500 to $250,000 on electric vehicle (EV) purchases, reversing a decrease last year. Peter Cornthwaite, CEO of WWF-Hong Kong commented, “A new one-for-one replacement scheme will also encourage car owners to swap their older gas guzzling vehicles for cleaner greener EVs. WWF believes the government should also introduce policy on incentivising developers to build charging facilities.”
Renewable Energy
The increase in funding for capital spending on renewable energy investment in government buildings, venues and community facilities to $800 million is welcome.  Prashant Vaze, WWF-Hong Kong’s Head of Climate Change and Energy remarked, “But the devil will be in the details, since another support mechanism, a feed-in tariff for renewable electricity is expected to commence from autumn 2018. It is important that they interact to maximize the deployment of renewable electricity going forward. We suggest government capital allocation helping finance facilities that do not qualify for feed-in tariff while facilities like schools and other buildings instead receive the feed-in tariff.”
Green Finance
WWF welcomes commitments by the government to make Hong Kong a green investment centre. Jean-Marc Champagne, Climate Finance Advisor for WWF-Hong Kong added, “The most important part of developing green capital markets for Hong Kong is that any effort is able to facilitate investment into green projects by not only attracting corporate debt issuance or borrowing but by bringing private and public institutional investors together to fund such projects.” The government should formulate policies to strengthen and encourage demand for green finance and investment policies on renewables, green transportation, and green infrastructure.