Inside The World’s First Museum Of Climate Change In HK

By Cecilia Lam 16 May, 2019

Take a glimpse into what the museum is all about & how it's helping to build a sustainable future for HK

Since opening in 2013, the free access museum has received >410,000 visits; it organises exhibitions that showcase innovative environmental research & initiatives to promote green living
Under the JC–CUHK Climate Action programme, the museum has 4 key initiatives e.g. education activities to improve understanding on climate change & an action monitor for people to use
The museum is also the secretariat for the HK Chapter of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which integrates HK into the wider global community to achieve the SDGs

In December 2013 the world’s first museum of climate change was established in the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). The university is committed to building a sustainable future for Hong Kong through education, research and community outreach and services, and this initiative makes an important contribution to the realisation of its vision.

The museum has received >410,000 visits since it opened in Dec 2013

The Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change (MoCC), established with a generous donation from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, broke new ground. The MoCC, which seeks to educate the public on the dangers of climate change, has received more than 410,000 visits since it opened. The MoCC strives to promote positive changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to climate change within and beyond Hong Kong. In accordance with this vision, admission is free of charge.

The MoCC organises exhibitions which showcase innovative research on the environment, energy and sustainability initiated by CUHK’s researchers, and also publicises the Jockey Club Charities Trust’s initiatives to promote green living in the community. It also houses a permanent collection accumulated by local explorer Dr Rebecca Lee during her many years of fieldwork in the Arctic and Antarctic and around Mount Everest.

JC–CUHK Climate Action

In 2017 the Jockey Club Charities Trust pledged its support for the three-year ‘Climate Action’ programme. As part of this programme, the MoCC is undertaking a range of environmental education activities to help the people of Hong Kong better understand the potentially devastating effects of climate change and to encourage them to propose innovative solutions and take positive action to meet this threat.

The JC–CUHK Climate Action programme includes four key initiatives:

1. Mobile Jockey Club MoCC

In the past, people had to go to a museum if they wanted to see its exhibits. Today, many museums instead take their exhibits to potential visitors. The MoCC is no exception to this trend.

The Mobile Jockey Club MoCC provides an enticing taste of what a visit to the actual museum would entail & has attracted >180,000 visitors

The Mobile Jockey Club MoCC is a mobile mini-museum consisting of portable modular structures that can be set up in a few hours. The MoCC’s exhibits can now be taken to schools, community centres and other public spaces, greatly extending the scope and reach of the museum’s public engagement. The Mobile Jockey Club MoCC provides an enticing taste of what a visit to the actual museum would entail, and has successfully sparked wider interest in climate change among the general public. The Mobile Jockey Club MoCC has attracted more than 180,000 visitors since its launch.

2. Team MoCC

Team MoCC is an initiative that encourages students, as the future leaders of society, to become actively engaged in the struggle for sustainability.

Carefully-designed learning & service programmes challenge students build sustainability into their daily lives

Carefully-designed learning and service programmes challenge students to think hard about how to build sustainability into their daily lives, both on campus and at home. Students are invited to explore, experiment, advocate and act. Most of them come to realise that change is not only possible but imperative, and that making informed, responsible choices in their daily lives is the key to a sustainable future. Team MoCC is helping to mould a future generation of environmentally-aware community leaders who can meet the enormous challenges posed by global warming and the wasteful use of precious resources.

3. Reducing Waste

Waste is a serious problem in Hong Kong. Over 5.7 million tonnes of waste is generated every year in Hong Kong, of which almost 70% ends up in landfills. This approach is ultimately unsustainable. The JC–CUHK Climate Action programme’s Waste Reduction Project is aimed at students in Hong Kong’s secondary schools. It seeks to increase awareness among young people of this waste problem and the need for environmentally sustainable waste management. The MoCC invites schools to join this project and participating schools are challenged to examine their waste generation, identify ways of achieving zero waste, take action to reduce waste and, most importantly, spread this message to their families and friends.

The MoCC invites schools to join this project…

…participating schools are challenged to examine their waste generation, identify ways of achieving zero waste etc.


4. Sustainability Hub and Action Monitor

To narrow the gap between their well-intentioned green aspirations and their actual behaviour, people need a reliable guide to sustainability. As part of the JC–CUHK Climate Action programme, the MoCC has created a well-curated resource hub with an online collection of tools and resources to help people to ‘go green’. This Sustainability Hub offers expert tips on achieving sustainability, and provides a wide range of educational outreach materials to inspire individuals to change their behaviour and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

The Sustainability Hub offers expert tips on achieving sustainability…

…the ‘Action Monitor’ allows individuals to monitor their own green targets

The Sustainability Hub is complemented by ‘Action Monitor’, an online tool which allows individuals to monitor their own green targets and their progress towards them. It logs and measures emissions, sets reduction goals, and tracks and measures changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour over time. Accomplishments recorded by the Action Monitor are recognised through a progressive e-badge scheme, which motivates commitment and guides development in terms of environmental stewardship.

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

The quest for sustainability is a global endeavour, in which local communities around the world must all play their parts. To integrate Hong Kong into the wider global community and to benefit from solutions to environmental challenges developed elsewhere in the world, the Hong Kong Chapter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN Hong Kong) was officially inaugurated in January 2018. SDSN Hong Kong aims to mobilise universities, research centres, civil society organisations, businesses and other knowledge centres to focus on practical problem solving for sustainable development. The MoCC currently serves as the secretariat for SDSN Hong Kong.

The UN’s SDSN integrates HK into the wider global community to achieve the SDGs

Several months later, in December 2018, SDSN Youth Hong Kong was launched to raise awareness among young people in Hong Kong of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, to allow them to exchange ideas with experts, and to encourage them to champion the cause of sustainable development by proposing innovative solutions to the many environmental challenges faced by Hong Kong.

Further Reading

  • Treading Water: Corporate Responses To Rising Water Challenges – From setting water targets to engaging value chains, companies are improving key aspects of water management but incremental action is no longer enough. CDP’s James Lott brings us key findings from their latest report
  • China Goes Circular: 6 Success Stories – China is already embracing a circular economy and businesses are following suit so which ones are leading the pack? Nick Jeffries from Ellen MacArthur Foundation expands
  • I Want You To Panic – As we edge closer to a climate crisis, Thanos from Avengers Endgame doesn’t seem so crazy anymore. Hear what China Water Risk’s Woody Chan has to say for his generation & children everywhere
  • Empowering Youth To Face Climate Change – Youths face great barriers to land a job or start their own initiatives in the field of climate change but Youth Climate Leaders is aiming to change that. Find out more from their Cassia Moraes & Fernanda Matsuoka
  • No Planet B: HK’s School Strike For Climate Action – As the strike wound down we caught up with one of the speakers, South Island School’s Adele Lo, to find out her views on climate change and inaction in Hong Kong. Could she be our Greta Thunberg?
  • Time To Get Radical – Alarm bells are ringing for climate change but we are still wedded to the ‘norm’ and on track to miss even the 2°C target. With time running out and serious implications for Asia’s water resources, China Water Risk’s Debra Tan calls for more flashes of brilliance
  • 3°C Transition Risks: It’s H2O, Not Just CO2 – 3°C is happening. This means we need to invest so we are ready for longer droughts, more intense & frequent floods, more damaging typhoons, as well as changing monsoon patterns and river flows. China Water Risk’s Dharisha Mirando & Debra Tan warns.
  • Modern Water Dispensers: Shifting Consumers Off Plastic – With Hong Kong throwing away 5.5 million plastic bottles every day, Urban Spring’s Jennie Wong explains how their network of water refill stations could be the way forward
  • Confronting Storms & Climate Risk In HK – Typhoons Hato and Mangkhut have wreaked havoc in the Greater Bay Area but Dr. Faith Chan from the University of Nottingham Ningbo believes these climate risks can be confronted, with Hong Kong leading the way
  • Youth & Water – 3 Key Takeaways from Egypt & Stockholm – China Water Risk intern Alex Whitebrook shares key takeaways from his recent trips for the World Youth Parliament for Water. See what’s on their minds
Cecilia Lam
Author: Cecilia Lam
Cecilia Lam is the Founding Director of the Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change and the Director of the Campus Planning and Sustainability Office at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She also oversees the program operations of the Hong Kong Chapter of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN Hong Kong) and serves as a member of the Hong Kong Sustainable Campus Consortium.
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