PisaSpeak has a dispatch from special correspondent and PISA Deputy Director Suzanne Kelly-Lyall who is in Hong Kong on route to Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Bangkok. Kelly-Lyall hopes to gain a deeper understanding on the thinking of policy makers and NGOs on the outcomes of the Copenhagen Conference and expectations for the future.
In Hong Kong business is the high temple of existence with finance as its sanctus so it is not surprising that much of the post-COP-15 dialogue is focused on business priorities. While the rest of the world may be languishing in post-COP malaise, the outlook in Hong Kong is decidedly more optimistic. At a panel discussion hosted by Hong Kong based NGO, Civic Exchange on January 12, stakeholders from key industries such as aviation, transportation, and energy shared their perspectives on COP15. Representatives from key environmental groups also weighed in and in direct contrast to Western media coverage of the event, were more than bullish on China playing a constructive role as a key climate negotiator.
The only notes of real disappointment were hinged upon the failure of countries to reach consensus on a fixed carbon price. The inability to achieve this goal may well prove to be a limiting factor in the extent to which the private sector can fund renewable energy resources as well as adaptation schemes. In a global hub of finance like Hong Kong, this failure is being keenly felt by banks and investors alike.
From Key financial institutions such as HSBC to influential environmental organizations like The Climate Group, energy and momentum toward reaching accord on the global carbon market price and positioning Hong Kong to maintain its regional status as a financial leader, may prove the most significant outcome of COP-15 for Asia.