Compare and Contrast Australian Government Policies Relating to Environmental Sustainability with Those of Another Country Essay

Compare and contrast Australian government policies relating to environmental sustainability with those of another country - Compare and Contrast Australian Government Policies Relating to Environmental Sustainability with Those of Another Country Essay introduction. “Sustainability is about taking what we need to live now, without jeopardising the potential for people in the future to meet their needs. ” (LandLearn NSW 2009) Environmental sustainability is very important to all countries in the world because all humankind is reliant on the environment to live therefore it is necessary to make our own environment sustainable. Governments around the world have realised that procurement is an important means of reducing their own environmental impacts and, more broadly, helping facilitate market creation for greener products and services. ” (The Victorian Government 2006, 7) Two countries which are both developed countries yet with similarities and differences in their sustainability policies are Australia and Hong Kong. This essay will compare the Government policies of Australia and Hong Kong and identify the similarities in air pollution and home energy saving in relation to sustainability.

Further, it will contrast the difference in sustainability policies in the area of the Kyoto Protocol membership in relation to climate change. Firstly, there are several similarities in the government sustainability policies of Australia and Hong Kong. The first is air pollution, one of the most serious problems in Australia and Hong Kong. Both the Australian Government (2009) and the Hong Kong Government (2010) have stated that air pollution is a major environmental concern.

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The Australian Government of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2009) seeks to protect and improve urban air quality through national action which can relate to the execution of relatable national standards and policies to decrease emissions of major air pollutants. This is because the major air pollutants in Australia are air toxics which include motor vehicle emissions, solid fuel combustion and industrial emissions. In Hong Kong, diesel vehicles, particularly trucks, buses and light buses are the main source of street-level pollutions. GovHK 2010) In Hong Kong, smog in particular is also caused by a combination of pollutants mainly from motor vehicles, industry and power plants in Hong Kong. (GovHK 2010) Both Governments have programmes to reduce vehicle emissions and these programmes include more strict fuel and vehicle emission standards, increased vehicle emission inspections enhanced enforcement against highly polluting vehicles and promotion of better vehicle maintenance and eco-driving habits.

Australian Government 2009) and (GovHK 2010) In brief, because of concerns about air pollution in Hong Kong and Australia both governments have released policies to control vehicles and industrial emissions. The second area of similar sustainability policies in Australia and Hong Kong is energy saving at home. The energy that humankind is using at home pollutes the environment and reduces the availability of energy in the future. (GovHK 2010) Lighting and air conditioning are the major forms of energy consumption at home. GovHK 2010) Both governments are therefore working to help all homes use less energy and save money from energy bills by proposed regulations and financial support. (Australian Government 2009) and (GovHK2010)

The Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme is being promoted in Hong Kong and the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) programs are also being promoted in Australia. (Australian Government 2009) and (GovHK2010) These two programs have similar functions and policies. They are set out in the relevant appliance standards. Australian Government 2009) and (GovHK2010) “For lighting, compact fluorescent bulbs are highly cost-effective replacements for incandescent, and the prices of new technologies, such as LED, are declining. ” (Diesendorf 2007) In brief, the Australian and Hong Kong Governments have similar policies to save energy in homes by reducing light energy and setting appliance standards. Apart from having similar sustainability policies in air pollution and energy saving at home, there is also a difference in sustainability policies in climate change.

A significant difference between the sustainability policies of the Australian and Hong Kong Governments are their support of the Kyoto Protocol. The Governments of Australian and Hong Kong are paying attention to climate change. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement connected to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). According to UNFCCC (2009), Australia has joined the Kyoto Protocol but Hong Kong has not. “The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. (UNFCCC 2009)

“Human activities cause an increase in greenhouse gases, mainly through burning of fossil fuels. ” (GovHK 2010) Under the agreement, Australia must meet its goal in the national measures. The Kyoto Protocol gives additional suggestions of meeting this goal by setting the Kyoto mechanisms which are: emissions trading, the cleaning development mechanism and joint implementation. (UNFCCC 2009) Two major contributors of greenhouse gases in Hong Kong are power generation and the transport sector. GovHK 2010) Even though the Hong Kong Government is not a member of the Kyoto Protocol, it has been promoting the use of cleaner fuel and renewable energy got over a decade to reduce the production of greenhouse gases from power generation. (GovHK 2010)

The Hong Kong Government has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with National Energy Administration in 2008 to ensure a long-term and stable supply of nuclear electricity and natural gas is encouraging the use of renewable energy sources, and launched tax incentive schemes for environment-friendly petrol private cars and commercial vehicles. GovHK 2010) Also, Hong Kong joined other Member Economies of APEC to reconfirm our commitment to achieving the goals set in 2007 Sydney Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development. (GovHK 2010) In conclusion, the Australian Government and Hong Kong Government have similar sustainability policies in air pollution by reducing vehicles emissions and industrial emissions.

Secondly, both Governments have similar sustainability policies in energy saving at home by reducing light energy and setting appliance standard. Finally, the Australian Government has joined Kyoto Protocol to help improving climate change. However, the Hong Kong Government has not joined Kyoto Protocol while it has its own sustainability policies. In brief, this essay has compared the Governments sustainability policies in air pollution and home energy saving and contrasted the Governments sustainability policies in climate change.

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