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postgraduate thesis: Climate change adaptation in coastal cities : a case study of the perspectives of policy-makers in Hong Kong

TitleClimate change adaptation in coastal cities : a case study of the perspectives of policy-makers in Hong Kong
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Hills, PR
Issue Date2018
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Wang, G. [王貴華]. (2018). Climate change adaptation in coastal cities : a case study of the perspectives of policy-makers in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractClimate change is an unequivocal reality. While substantially reducing greenhouse gases has been the focus of global endeavours, urban populations are engaging in policy and actions that will enable cities to adapt to pressing climate change impacts, including rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, and other economic effects. Recent trends are shifting the focus from national to city level as the local impacts of climate change will require local solutions. Therefore, it is imperative that urban levels of governance have the training to understand contextualised problems, possess a better local knowledge and maintain local trust — all needed to lead to effective adaptation. Research literature has documented city-level adaptation practices that include climate governance and adaptation mechanisms. However, there is a gap between the in-depth understanding of municipal stakeholders (governmental officials, academic experts, professional associations, businesses, and non-governmental organisations) and policy development on climate change adaptation at the city scale. With a strategic agenda-setting perspective, the objective of this research is to evaluate the perspectives that policy stakeholders in Hong Kong have on climate change and the ways in which these perceptions shape policies relating to climate change adaptation in Hong Kong. Hong Kong, an international and large urban area, is the location of the research case study. The research addresses the objective through two methods. First, the literature review identified articles that focus on the development of international practices on urban adaptation and the content analysis examines the evolution of local climate policy. In addition, the research on literature develops an analytic tool – conceptual framework – to diagnose climate adaptation practices at the city level. Second, fieldwork using quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews investigates policy stakeholders’ perceptions of local climate risks, their knowledge about local climate, and their understanding of institutional barriers and social drivers of local adaptation. The results of this study report on municipal policy stakeholders’ understanding of urban climate adaptation. Four key findings emerged from the study. (1) Policy stakeholders in Hong Kong acknowledged the importance, but not the urgency, of climate change adaptation. (2) Policy-makers have certain, but limited, knowledge on local climate change issues. (3) Hong Kong stakeholders need to prepare a comprehensive vulnerability assessment to lay down a solid foundation for a robust evidence-based adaptation policy formulation. (4) The study has identified specific social drivers, e.g. citizens’ higher environmental protection awareness, severe local impacts, Chief Executive’s political commitment, social pressures, policy-makers’ understanding of issues, and pressure from regional competitors and institutional barriers, e.g. a lack of perception of climate change impacts, knowledge about climatic uncertainty, a lack of institutional opportunities to be motivated, to reach a consensus in the society, and a lack of educational opportunities to learn, in Hong Kong that may promote or hinder future policy formulation. Based on the findings, the study concludes that for urban climate adaptation practices to develop, political will and administrative leadership are vitally important. These two points affect the degree of urgency to put climate adaptation on the local agendas for discussion and the subsequent actions for planning and decision-making to evolve. Other policy stakeholders also play a significant role in terms of influencing policy agendas and participation in local adaptation. With a SWOT analysis identifying “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats” and the application of the conceptual framework, this research suggests a portfolio of possible climate adaptation measures for policy makers in Hong Kong to consider in developing their own strategic agendas for climate change.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectHong Kong - China - Climate change mitigation
Government policy - Climate changes
Dept/ProgramPolitics and Public Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/268427

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorHills, PR-
dc.contributor.authorWang, Guihua-
dc.contributor.author王貴華-
dc.date.accessioned2019-03-21T01:40:22Z-
dc.date.available2019-03-21T01:40:22Z-
dc.date.issued2018-
dc.identifier.citationWang, G. [王貴華]. (2018). Climate change adaptation in coastal cities : a case study of the perspectives of policy-makers in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/268427-
dc.description.abstractClimate change is an unequivocal reality. While substantially reducing greenhouse gases has been the focus of global endeavours, urban populations are engaging in policy and actions that will enable cities to adapt to pressing climate change impacts, including rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, and other economic effects. Recent trends are shifting the focus from national to city level as the local impacts of climate change will require local solutions. Therefore, it is imperative that urban levels of governance have the training to understand contextualised problems, possess a better local knowledge and maintain local trust — all needed to lead to effective adaptation. Research literature has documented city-level adaptation practices that include climate governance and adaptation mechanisms. However, there is a gap between the in-depth understanding of municipal stakeholders (governmental officials, academic experts, professional associations, businesses, and non-governmental organisations) and policy development on climate change adaptation at the city scale. With a strategic agenda-setting perspective, the objective of this research is to evaluate the perspectives that policy stakeholders in Hong Kong have on climate change and the ways in which these perceptions shape policies relating to climate change adaptation in Hong Kong. Hong Kong, an international and large urban area, is the location of the research case study. The research addresses the objective through two methods. First, the literature review identified articles that focus on the development of international practices on urban adaptation and the content analysis examines the evolution of local climate policy. In addition, the research on literature develops an analytic tool – conceptual framework – to diagnose climate adaptation practices at the city level. Second, fieldwork using quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews investigates policy stakeholders’ perceptions of local climate risks, their knowledge about local climate, and their understanding of institutional barriers and social drivers of local adaptation. The results of this study report on municipal policy stakeholders’ understanding of urban climate adaptation. Four key findings emerged from the study. (1) Policy stakeholders in Hong Kong acknowledged the importance, but not the urgency, of climate change adaptation. (2) Policy-makers have certain, but limited, knowledge on local climate change issues. (3) Hong Kong stakeholders need to prepare a comprehensive vulnerability assessment to lay down a solid foundation for a robust evidence-based adaptation policy formulation. (4) The study has identified specific social drivers, e.g. citizens’ higher environmental protection awareness, severe local impacts, Chief Executive’s political commitment, social pressures, policy-makers’ understanding of issues, and pressure from regional competitors and institutional barriers, e.g. a lack of perception of climate change impacts, knowledge about climatic uncertainty, a lack of institutional opportunities to be motivated, to reach a consensus in the society, and a lack of educational opportunities to learn, in Hong Kong that may promote or hinder future policy formulation. Based on the findings, the study concludes that for urban climate adaptation practices to develop, political will and administrative leadership are vitally important. These two points affect the degree of urgency to put climate adaptation on the local agendas for discussion and the subsequent actions for planning and decision-making to evolve. Other policy stakeholders also play a significant role in terms of influencing policy agendas and participation in local adaptation. With a SWOT analysis identifying “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats” and the application of the conceptual framework, this research suggests a portfolio of possible climate adaptation measures for policy makers in Hong Kong to consider in developing their own strategic agendas for climate change.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshHong Kong - China - Climate change mitigation-
dc.subject.lcshGovernment policy - Climate changes-
dc.titleClimate change adaptation in coastal cities : a case study of the perspectives of policy-makers in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePolitics and Public Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.hkuros291955-
dc.date.hkucongregation2018-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044091305303414-

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