Mitigating and Adapting to Flood Risk in Hong Kong - Challenges from Climate Change

Climate change effects have been engendering imminent risks to many aspects of living of human beings. With the concerted and continuous efforts by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the governments of different countries, the Paris Agreement endorsed in the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) held in December 2015 provides a clear target with the associated global commitments. In Hong Kong, the Government has established the inter-departmental Steering Committee on Climate Change and various Working Groups to formulate climate actions from a holistic perspective.

Rainfall increase and sea level rise due to climate change effects have been imposing challenges to flood protection in Hong Kong. Although the Drainage Services Department has implemented different flood mitigation measures that are proved to be effective in the past, it is worthy to explore new measures, such as barrage, to further combat the threat brought by climate change. In addition, sustainable consideration, such as blue-green concept, is also one of the key elements in the prevailing stormwater drainage planning. Taking the view that there will be more severe and frequent extreme weather events due to climate change effects, strategy on flood adaption and resilience will form the imperative and integral part of flood control management in future.