Hong Kong is a party to a number of international conventions that aim to cope with global environmental and climatic challenges. Amongst them are the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol (entered into force in 1994 and 1997 respectively which seek to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG)). UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol were extended to Hong Kong since May 2003 by China, a signatory of both. Hong Kong was obliged to play a part to fulfill the relevant obligations imposed upon China under the Convention/Protocol. However, as a developing country, China (including Hong Kong) is not required under the UNFCCC to meet specific emission targets.
The Paris Agreement was subsequently adopted by the parties to UNFCCC in December 2015 and came into effect on 4 November 2016, succeeding the Kyoto Protocol that will expire in 2020. It aimed at limiting global warming to less than 2°C (with the pre-industrial levels as the baseline) and striving for limiting the temperature rise to 1.5°C as decided by the Central People’s Government, the Paris Agreement also applies to the Hong Kong SAR (see https://www.enb.gov.hk/sites/default/files/pdf/ClimateActionPlanEng.pdf).