CARE2022 Hong Kong Conference

80 On-going research will enable better estimation to show what annual contribution there could be from wider reforestation of all undeveloped areas in Hong Kong, which also have other benefits, such as disaster risk reduction (landslides); improving the natural environment for outdoor activities; capturing more rainwater for our reservoirs and restoring degraded environment for the benefits of biodiversity, and public enjoyment, as planting trees is also a popular community activity.” 2. Hot and dry extremes under different emissions scenarios Prof. Eun-soon Im (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, HKUST) 7 Workshop: Scholars’ Day 3. Overheating and energy insecurity in Hong Kong’s vulnerable population Prof. Laurence Delina (Division of Environment and Sustainability, HKUST) Eun-soon Im, HKUST Amid the faster-than-expected pace of global warming, a higher probability of concurrent hot and dry extremes is expected because warmer temperatures tend to aggravate surface drying due to enhanced atmospheric moisture demand. In particular, south-eastern China has witnessed concurrent hot and dry extremes increasing over the past few decades. Its foreseeable intensification will aggravate economic losses and people’s well-being. The presentation focussed on a study assessing the joint probability of concurrent hot and dry extremes in China based on finescale future climate projections. It showed that uncommonly high hot and dry extremes characterised by 80-year return period under the current climate will become a new normal if fossil-fuelled development were to continue. In addition, a comparative analysis of future projections under different emission scenarios clearly illustrated the benefits of climate change mitigation. Laurence Delina, HKUST Energy demand, especially for cooling, will continue to increase with more frequent and prolonged hot days and hot nights. Already vulnerable persons, households, and social groups are at risk of being energy insecure in their homes or at places they work at. Energy insecurity – which is about lack of access to and unaffordability of safe and sustainable energy – occurs across several forms of energy services from lighting to cooking to cooling, as well as for technological, medical, and other life-sustaining devices. Yet, the HKSAR Government does not recognize this type of deprivation in its official statistics and energy policy. With little attention given to energy insecurity in the city’s research and policy landscapes, this talk discussed an RGC-funded project that uses mixedmethod research to address these gaps. The study’s outputs will lead to novel insights that can provide inputs into future decision- and policymaking aimed at recognizing and addressing energy insecurity in Hong Kong.