UCL Hong Kong conference reflects global nature of climate change challenge

10 November 2010

UCL co-hosted a two-day climate change conference in Hong Kong last week, which brought together academics and practitioners from all parts of the world, including India, China, Australia and Singapore.

The conference was held at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) on 4 and 5 November, and the wide variety of nationalities represented underscored the global nature of the climate change challenge.

“Climate change mitigation and adaptation is a problem that is both global and local, requiring solutions at all levels,” explained Professor Joanne Scott of UCL Laws. “This was reflected in this conference programme, which examined the post-Copenhagen global environment and sustainable development in both London and Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong climate change conference speakers

The keynote speech was delivered by Mr Edward Yau, Secretary of State for the Environment in Hong Kong, and other speakers included the Right Honourable Justice Brian Preston, Chief Judge in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales. Duan Maosheng, recently appointed as a member of the Executive Board of the controversial Clean Development Mechanism, spoke about prospects for its reform.

The four speakers from UCL addressed very different themes including the law and science interface in relation to carbon capture and storage (Ian Havercroft) and geo-engineering (Professor Catherine Redgwell). Professor Scott spoke about the multi-level governance of climate change with a focus on the EU, while Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones addressed the theme of sustainable development in London and Hong Kong.

This conference was a result of close collaboration between Professors Jolene Lin (HKU Law) and Joanne Scott (UCL Laws), which will lead to the publication of a special issue of the Carbon and Climate Law Review.

Professor Scott added: “This collaboration is of immense value as it facilitates a bridging of Europe and Asia – two regions which are so crucial in meeting the challenge of climate change. This is just one example of partnership between our two faculties and universities (a joint conference entitled ‘Civil Justice Reform: What has it Achieved?’ was held by UCL Laws in Hong Kong in April 2010). Exciting plans for continued collaboration are underway.”

November’s climate change conference received generous support from the Society for the Protection of the Harbour and the Environment and Conservation Fund, both based in Hong Kong.

The final session was most ably chaired by UCL alumnus, Winston Chu. The Faculty of Laws is immensely grateful to him for his continuing support.

Image (from left): HKU representative Johannes Chan, speaker Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, speaker Kate Miles, UCL speaker Catherine Redgwell


UCL context

The Faculty of Laws at UCL has a world-class reputation for research. In the UK government 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), Laws is placed joint first in the UK for the proportion of its research activity in the top two star categories (75% 4*/3*). The faculty values research not only in contributing to the quality of teaching and the supervision it gives to research students, but also in its contribution to the development of law and its influence on legal practice and public policy.

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