An alert observer mentions the World Green Organization – which I’ve never heard of but, according to RTHK, is warning of increased electricity prices as generators shift to natural gas.
Here’s their website, highlighting various environmental activities, notably with a corporate bent. Coca-Cola/Swire plastic bottle recycling, Mead Johnson formula-can recycling, Great Eagle Group waste reduction, various surveys, walks and government awards ceremonies, and lots of stuff about baby lotion and paper towels. All worthy and overtly non-edgy.
The boards of governors and advisors confirm the group’s moderate/establishment leanings – mostly academics and business people with very long resumes listing membership of obscure government committees, research posts probably dependent on public/corporate funding, and similar tell-tale signs familiar to shoe-shining forensics. One made the SCMP yesterday.
The boss (big bio here) is big into sustainable smart-city innovation stuff – and also on the Town Planning Appeals Board and the Third Runway Advisory Committee. One governor is an independent non-executive director of Power Assets (ie HK Electric), the people who will charge more if they shift away from coal. Another is founder of the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce, and here’s an old plug for a ‘One Belt One Road’ Youth Leadership project in Burma.
As that last page shows, the group has been around for quite a few years. I personally witnessed one of their plastic bottle Octopus Card rebate machines in action in an office foyer just recently, so they obviously take part in environmentally constructive projects, even if it’s helping businesses do greenwashing. But there are also things they probably won’t do – like protest environmentally ruinous government policies (try their insipid page on air quality).
This is not the first time recently that newly sanitized patriotism-compliant RTHK has featured the WGO with a ‘safe’ non-story – the group’s boss called for Greater Bay Area carbon-trading three weeks back.
The point is that establishment-linked groups like this will probably be all that’s left as Beijing eliminates the more critical and aggressive parts of Hong Kong’s civil society.