06 Nov 2012

Ocean Park to cut carbon emissions by 10pc in 10 years (South China Morning Post)

Ocean Park to cut carbon emissions by 10pc in 10 years (6/11/2012)

By courtesy of South China Morning Post

Ocean Park to cut carbon emissions by 10pc in 10 years

By Joanna Chiu

Ocean Park aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 10 per cent in 10 years in a green drive that consultants say may set the benchmark for theme parks around the world.

The plan is also tipped to bring savings in the long run, park executives say.

“Ocean Park’s commitment to reduce its overall carbon emissions by 10 per cent is quite ambitious and could help set new industry standards,” Trini Leung Wing-yue, executive director of Carbon Care Asia, an independent carbon management consultancy, said yesterday. “Other theme parks around the world, such as Disneyland, also have carbon reduction targets, but they’re often selective, focusing on only cutting fuel emissions, for example.”

For a start, the park has developed an energy-efficient life support system for animals. It has also installed solar panels on electric carts used to transport materials and mascots around, and set up a mechanism to convert food waste into animal feed.

Park visitors are encouraged to get involved by contributing their leftovers and donating to the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation. They can also learn about climate change at the park’s educational courses.

“We’ve invested HK$50 million on carbon reduction programmes,” Ocean Park deputy chief executive Matthias Li Sing-chung said. “These initiatives are expected to reduce approximately HK$70 million in utility costs over the next 10 years.”

China is a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that obliges industrialised countries to cut greenhouse gases. But since China is categorised as a developing country, its involvement in the treaty is voluntary.

“That puts Hong Kong in a unique place because we are a part of China, but among the world’s most economically powerful cities,” Leung said. “Hong Kong can do more to help prevent climate change.”

China overtook the US in 2007 as the world’s top carbon emitter, contributing more than 24 per cent of the world’s total carbon emissions, according to the UN.