Re ECF Project: 2010-09

Project Title: Global Climate Change and Low-carbon Living: Perceptions of Secondary School Students in Hong Kong

Applicant: Prof. WONG Koon Kwai of Hong Kong Baptist University

Total Approved Grant: $195,200

Duration: 1/9/ 2010 to 31/8/ 2012

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

The project aims to investigate students' willingness to change their existing living habits by adopting a low-carbon lifestyle. It further examines their awareness of educational (or publicity) programmes (or activities) on climate change launch by the Government and NGOs in Hong Kong.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
This study confirms that secondary school students in Hong Kong are highly aware of environmental problems and the imminent risks of global climate change. They hold human-centred environmental worldviews and are optimistic about human’s ability to overcome environmental problems. Students disproportionally favour mitigation and prevention as strategies to combat climate change problems; and these necessitate a substantial change in people’s lifestyles and habits. Despite their pro-environmental worldviews, students’ engagement in low-carbon behaviour (LCB) is quite modest. They are unfamiliar with many climate change activities/programmes launched by the government and NGOs. They are not enthusiastic about participating in environmental activities and their familiarity with these activities is quite low. Although they are willing to make a strong and positive verbal commitment to engage in LCB, there are still many barriers prohibiting them from changing their habits. Students strongly believe that ‘materialism’ is the core social value of Hong Kong society, and they also attribute the failure of green policies to the indifference of the business sectors. Now, the arduous task is to motivate students to transform their awareness and perceptions into concrete actions to make Hong Kong a green and low-carbon city.