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News & Events

Climate Change: Politics and Diplomacy in a Fractured World
Date 日期:  27 Feb 2024
Time 時間: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Venue 地點: Updated Venue: MB240, 2/F, Main Building
Medium 語言: English
Speaker(s) 講師: John Ashton
Peter Lai
Summary 內容: A Conversation with John Ashton - former British Ambassador on Climate Change
Over the last year the world has experienced record-breaking heat waves and freezing cold snaps, horrendously destructive floods and life-threatening drought. There is no doubt that climate change, specifically global warming, plays a large part in our travails. The science is clear, but why are we still struggling with climate change “deniers” every step of the way. The people’s demand is clear, but why the governments of the world, which are entrusted with the task of protecting us and future generations from a climate catastrophe, still struggling to agree on a concerted and concrete action plan to keep us safe?

To help us to understand, let us turn to someone who has hands-on experience in the policy and diplomacy of climate change.

為了深入了解環保政策及外交背後的複雜性,前英國外交部氣候變遷特別代表John Ashton會以視像形式出席講座,與港大同學進行討論與思辯。

Registration (HKU Students and Staff): 
Bio of Speaker(s) 講者簡介: 
Mr. John Ashton

After more than 20 years as a career diplomat (including postings in Beijing and Hong Kong), John Ashton served as the British Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change from 2006 – 2012. His primary role was to mobilize the British government’s diplomatic resources to try to create the political conditions for a more ambitious and effective global response to climate change, and thus make possible faster progress in the multilateral negotiations. From 2004-6 he was also a cofounder and the first Chief Executive of the think tank E3G (  In recent years, John has detached himself from institutional affiliations, and is now an independent speaker and writer, based in Newcastle upon Tyne in the north of England.  

Mr. Peter Lai

After graduating with first-class honours at HKU in 1973, Mr. Lai joined the Hong Kong Government as an Administrative Officer. From 1985 Mr. Lai was almost continuously engaged in Sino-British negotiations on the future arrangements for Hong Kong and was appointed a Member of the Sino-British Land Commission (1991 – 1994). In late 1994 he was appointed the first 'local' Secretary for Security of the Hong Kong Government. He left the civil service on 1 August 1998. Mr. Lai is an Honorary Professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, HKU.