Low Carbon Green Hotel Development Alliance Organizes 2023 MIECF Sub-Forum

Focusing on the Coping Strategies for the Macau Hotel Industry under Carbon Pricing Mechanism

As the impact of climate change is increasing due to the worsening global warming, advocating carbon audits and calling for carbon pricing has become a need of the times, which is an important part of perfecting the green and low-carbon policy system and enhancing the capacity of carbon sinks, as well as a necessary path to low-carbon development. During Macau International Environmental Co-operation Forum and Exhibition (MIECF) 2023, the Low Carbon Green Hotel Development Alliance (LCGHDA) organized a sub-forum on “Cope Strategies for the Macau Hotel Industry under Carbon Pricing Mechanism”, environmental scholars and experts from Mainland China and Macau were invited to promote the awareness of carbon emissions, low-carbon and environmental protection, as well as exchanged successful cases.

Guests of honor attending the event included:

Huang Shengbiao, Vice Minister of Ministry of Economy of Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao S.A.R

U U Sang, President of Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM)

Leong Weng Kun, Director of Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) 

Cheong Kuok Kei, Director of Urban Planning and Construction Bureau, Hengqin Guangdong-Macao In- depth Co-operation Zone

Chan Mei Pou, Director of Environmental Planning and Assessment of Macau Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA)

Shi Zongkai, Vice Chairpersons of the University Council and Vice President of the Alumni Association, Tsinghuga University

Chan Weng Tat, Vice President of BOC Macau

Lai Kin Weng, Director of Macau Institute of Engineers 

Lei Ka Hang, Director of China Green Building and Energy Saving (Macau) Association

Ieong Tou Lai, Vice Director of Macao Association of Environmental Protection Industry

Chok Seng Cheng, President of Macao Institution of Electrical & Mechanical Engineers

Wu Kim Kam, Vice Director of Architects Association of Macau

 Wendy Yu, Executive Vice President of Human Resources of MGM

Albert Chuck, Director of Low Carbon Green Hotel Development Alliance

LCGHDA has been insisting on leading industry and developing ideas, taking the lead in promoting and organizing a number of seminars on the carbon emissions accounting and decarbonization within Macau hotel industry, and joining hands with the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy of Tsinghua University in compiling the first “Greenhouse Gas Emission Disclosure Guideline for Macau Hospitality Industry” in the Greater Bay Area, so as to proactively cope with the impacts of the Country’s Carbon Pricing Mechanism.

Top environmental experts from Mainland China and Macau were invited to share their views on carbon emissions and carbon pricing mechanism. Prof. Zhang Xiliang, Director of the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, Head of the Technical Expert Group on Overall Design of National Carbon Emission Trading Market, and President of China Emissions Trading Association, explained the current situation of the carbon market and carbon emission management under the carbon offsetting mechanism with the topic of “Progress of National Carbon Emission Trading”, and pointed out that carbon pricing is one of the policy tools. He also suggested that the carbon market should be diversified in the future, with the introduction of a wide range of reasonably priced products, regulations establishment and strong supervision.

Mr. Guo Zhenwei, Deputy Director of the Green Building Research Center of the China Urban Science Research Association, explained in-depth to the carbon management of hotel properties, pointing out that the hotel industry in China cause 200 million tons of carbon emission per year, with high utilization and energy consumption, and thus, suggesting that new hotels in the future should start from the initial design and take the green operation into design considerations. He also introduced green building evaluation standards including ISO 21930 and GB/T 51366, and hoped that the hotel alliance could standardize the zero carbon building standards.

Ms. Gu Alun, Associate Researcher of Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, made suggestions on the disclosure of carbon emission information of hotels in Macau and emphasized the key points of the Glasgow Declaration, involving monitoring, decarbonization, regeneration, collaboration and funding. She also mentioned that there are 45 hotels in Macau that have already conducted carbon and energy audit, and suggested simplifying information disclosure and developing a local emissions database.

The next session was moderated by Zhou Jian, Assistant Director of Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, and invited five representatives from industry, academia and research sectors, including Zhang Jiutian, Executive Director of Green Development Institute, Beijing Normal University;  Zhang Jian, Secretary of the Board of Directors of Tsinghua Science and Technology Holdings Limited; Sun Shoufang, Deputy Dean of the Guangdong Qingda Innovation Research Institute; Dong Yahong, Associate Professor of the Macau University of Science and Technology; and Keith Lei, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Sustainability of MGM.

Keith Lei mentioned that the challenges for the hotel industry in carbon reduction include how to reduce carbon emissions without affecting guests’ expectations and with the lack of eco-friendly resources. Taking MGM as an example, including using natural gas in Macau and Cotai, stop using plastic products but biodegradable tableware, and the adoption of electric buses, etc.  He also emphasized the huge potential of the carbon trading market, industry must follow the trend of buying carbon allowances in 2060.

Zhang Jiutian said that the hotel industry is the leading industry in Macau. It is challenging and costly for city to achieve carbon neutrality, which has to cope with the problem of extreme climate at the same time, while the large-scale operation of hotels can provide favorable conditions for carbon reduction. In addition, many overseas high-tech companies are investing in negative carbon technologies, and Macau can also invest in bringing such technological solutions.

Zhang Jian pointed out that it is difficult to achieve carbon neutrality in Macau due to limited area and the large amount of emissions. He suggested that the first step should open up the emissions from the mainland China (Hengqin), as well as to ensure that the hotel industry can conduct carbon pricing and trading fairly and equitably from the buyer’s perspective.

Sun Shoufang mentioned that China must develop new technologies in carbon pricing to achieve carbon reduction. The problem of energy saving in hotels is difficult to break through in the short term, hoping that there will be technological breakthroughs in the future to solve the problem.

Dong Yahong said that Macau has potential for scientific research and development, but database construction is an important issue, and the standards of transparency, accuracy, completeness, relevance and practical should be pursued. For Macau hotels, whether to use existing standards or establish their own criterion needs to be considered in a comprehensive manner. Hardcore technology should be adopted to develop a platform for digital carbon management, capitalize on the strengths of the hotel upstream industry, and cultivate dual-carbon talents.

Zhou Jian concluded that Macau’s hotel industry should proactively respond to carbon pricing mechanism and dual carbon transformation. Firstly, it is necessary to establish standards and guidelines for assurance and accounting of Scopes 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions. Secondly, the hotel industry and its leaders should set medium- to long-term emissions targets and transition pathways. Thirdly, efforts should be made to strengthen control over carbon emissions at the source by establishing carbon emissions evaluation standards for newly constructed hotels and promoting the adoption of low-carbon technologies during the design phase. Fourthly, collaboration is essential, hotel industry should actively engage in the dual carbon transformation of the GBA, and explore low-carbon technologies, carbon-negative technologies, green energy utilization, and high-quality, low-carbon products.

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