7RAQM Hong Kong Forum
9:30am - 12:00pm
HKUST Business School Central

The forum was an insightful reporting session following the 7th International Symposium on Regional Air Quality Management (7RAQM) and the 1st Greater Bay Area Climate Forum held in Guangzhou during 29-31 May 2024.

Over the past decade, coordinated management efforts have led to remarkable improvements in the region's air quality. However, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events due to climate change presents new challenges. Addressing climate change requires innovative approaches that build on the successes of air quality improvement.

The symposium explored the intersections between air quality, climate change, and health, highlighting how strategies from air quality management can inform climate change mitigation. The 7RAQM Hong Kong Forum expanded on these discussions, examining opportunities to apply lessons learned from air quality management to tackle climate change. The forum brought together experts and industry leaders to discuss emerging technologies, policies, and stakeholder initiatives to drive progress in both areas.


Tentative Program

Time Program
9:00am Registration
9:30am Opening Remarks - Prof. Alexis Lau, Head and Chair Professor, Division of Environment and Sustainability, HKUST
9:35am Session 1 | Navigating the Climate-Air Quality Nexus - Challenges and Policy Updates
In this session, we will delve into the scientific foundations, exploring the latest research in air quality and climate change. Experts will provide insights into the interactions between air pollution and climate dynamics, offering an overview of current challenges and future directions.


  • Prof. Jay R. Turner, Head of the Division of Engineering Education, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Prof. Zibing Yuan, Professor, South China University of Technology
  • Mr. Eddie Lee, Principal Environmental Protection Officer(Air Science & Modelling), Environmental Protection Department

Panel Discussion and Q&A

Moderated by Prof. Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist, Institute for the Environment, HKUST

10:25am Coffee Break

Session 2 | Charting the Way Forward - Pathways to Air Quality Improvement and Climate Response
This session will focus on real-world impacts and essential mitigation and adaptation strategies. The discussion will cover socioeconomic implications, health impacts, and necessary policy measures to enhance resilience and sustainability. Attendees will gain practical knowledge on mitigating adverse effects and adapting to changing environmental conditions.


  • Prof. Ashish Sharma, Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Climate and Urban Sustainability Lead, Discovery Partners Institute
  • Ms. Elena Talalasova, Senior Project Manager, Global Maritime Forum
  • Mr. Hendrik Rosenthal, Director - Group Sustainability, CLP Holdings Limited
  • Ms. Grace Kwok, Chairman and Executive Director, AEC Group
  • Prof. Fei Chan, Professor, Division of Environment and Sustainability, HKUST

Panel Discussion and Q&A

Moderated by Prof. Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist, Institute for the Environment, HKUST

11:55am Closing Remarks
12:00nn Event Ends



Ms. Grace Kwok

Grace is the Chairman and Executive Director of AEC Group and Chief Sustainability Strategist of AEC Capital Ltd. She is a seasoned sustainability professional with a background in environmental engineering. As the recipient of the 2023 APEC Bio-Circular-Green Award, Grace is a keen advocate of regenerative sustainability for the built environment with 20+ years’ experience in sustainable design and green building projects in Hong Kong, China, and across Asia-Pacific. She is currently the Director of the Hong Kong Green Building Council, Founding Vice President of the Greater Bay Area Carbon Neutrality Association, and Council Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Qualified Environmental Professionals. Grace is also the Co-Chair of the Real Estate Working Group under the Hong Kong Green Finance Association. Outside Hong Kong, she has led AEC Group to become WorldGBC’s Asia Pacific Net Zero Collaborator while sharing best practices through her roles in the GRESB Real Estate Standards Committee, LEED Technical Advisory Group, BRE ESG Advisors Club and IWBI Health Equity Advisory. Grace works with the real estate and finance sectors through Green Finance and ESG advisory to build climate resilience and accelerate net-zero transition.


Prof. Alexis Lau
Prof. Alexis Lau, JP, is Head and Chair Professor of Division of Environment and Sustainability, Chair Professor of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director of the Institute for the Environment at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. 

Prof. Lau specializes in air quality and health exposure, weather and climate, and environmental policies, with recent focuses on climate adaptation and resilience, as well as shaping the transition to green finance based on climate science. His professional techniques include the analysis of large-scale geophysical datasets, numerical models, and in-situ and satellite remote sensing.

Prof. Lau is a fellow of the Hong Kong Meteorological Society, a founding member of the Hong Kong Climate Change Forum, a scientific advisor to the Hong Kong Observatory, as well as a founding board member and chair of the Qualification Panel of the Hong Kong Institute of Qualified Environmental Professionals. Currently, Prof. Lau is leading the first pan-Pearl River Delta Air Quality study managed jointly by the regional governments under the “Cooperation Agreement on Regional Air Pollution Control and Prevention among Hong Kong, Guangdong, and Macao”. Additionally, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group of the World Health Organization Panel on the development of a Global Platform on Air Quality and Health.


Mr. Eddie Lee
Mr. Lee is the Principal Environmental Protection Officer (Air Science and Modelling) of Environmental Protection Department (EPD), responsible for overseeing the development and operation of EPD’s air quality monitoring network; dissemination of air quality information; overseeing air quality management work; supervision of air quality impact and hazard assessment and related model development work; and development and implementation of air science collaboration with local and Mainland counterparts. During his more than 20 years of service in EPD, Mr. Lee worked in various positions including hazard assessment, air quality impact assessment, climate change policy coordination and corporate technical support.

Mr. Lee graduated from Chemical Engineering Department of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and is holding a Bachelor of Engineering degree and a Master of Philosophy degree.


Prof. Christine Loh
Prof. Christine Loh is the Chief Development Strategist at the Institute for the Environment, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Previously, she held the positions of Special Consultant to the Office of the Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government on the ecological civilization aspects of the Greater Bay Area Outline Development Plan (2019-2020); and Under Secretary for the Environment in the HKSAR Government (2012-2017). She was the CEO of Civic Exchange, an independent non-profit public policy think tank (2000-2012). Before that, Prof. Loh served as a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, first appointed in 1992 and later elected in 1995 and 1998. Earlier, she spent 14 years in the private commercial sector in commodities trading. Currently, she is a Director of New Forests Pty Limited, Towngas Smart Energy Company Limited, CDP Worldwide, and Global Maritime Forum. She is also a founding Advisor to Hong Kong Green Finance Association.


Mr. Hendrik Rosenthal
Hendrik is responsible for the Group’s sustainability-related strategy, reporting and communications. He supports the senior management in sustainability and climate change-related risk management and advises on sustainability matters of the Group’s power business in the Asia-Pacific region.

With more than 20 years of experience in sustainability and environmental management across the public, private and NGO sectors, Hendrik previously led research and consulting projects in Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Hendrik currently sits on a number of committees on sustainability-related matters, including as Director of the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), Steering Committee member of the Climate Governance Institute Hong Kong Chapter, and an advisory panel member for the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), amongst others.


Prof. Ashish Sharma
Dr. Ashish Sharma is the Climate and Urban Sustainability Lead at the Discovery Partners Institute, University of Illinois System. He is a faculty in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He holds a joint appointment as a Climate Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. He is the Director of the NSF-UKRI joint-funded Global Center on Clean Energy and Equitable Transportation Solutions (CLEETS). He is named to Crain's Chicago Business' 40 Under 40 class of 2023.

Dr. Sharma completed his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University. Dr. Sharma has expertise in atmospheric sciences, focusing on regional climate, air quality, and assessing adaptation and mitigation strategies. Through collaborative research across science, engineering, social sciences, and policy, he studies environmental justice issues, including heat, fog, air quality, and high-impact weather. Dr. Sharma has secured funding of $40M+ as PI or co-PI from diverse agencies, such as the U.S. DOE, NSF, NASA, Walder Foundation, IBM, and ComEd Exelon Energy. Dr. Sharma is a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. He serves on the Trust for Public Land's Natural Solutions Tool advisory committee (2022). He has co-authored an assessment of climate change impacts on the Great Lakes region (2019), a special climate assessment for Illinois (2021), and a NOAA report on aligning research priorities to enhance resilience to extreme heat (2019). As a co-author of the first climate action plan for the Chicago metro region (2021), he has received numerous awards, including the American Planning Association Merit in Sustainability Award (2022) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Climate Leadership Award (2021). The Illinois State Museum exhibits his work on climate change, injustice, and heat in Chicago. He has contributed as a reviewer for the IPCC report and many international scientific journals. Dr. Sharma is a US EPA Science Advisory Board member for the EJ Screen review panel. He is also a member of the Illinois Commission on Environmental Justice and the Illinois State Museum, appointed by the Governor. He is the Associate Editor of the Frontiers in Environmental Science: Atmosphere and Climate journal. He has testified on a subject matter hearing on urban heat island effect and solutions to the City of Chicago Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy (2021). He has briefed the U.S. Senate Climate Taskforce, U.S. House of Representatives, and congressional staff on Capitol Hill on the impacts of climate change in the Great Lakes Region (2019).


Ms. Elena Talalasova
Elena Talalasova is a Senior Project Manager and Team Lead for Research and Analysis at Global Maritime Forum. She oversees the GMF's analytical portfolio across topics such as green shipping corridors, national policy for international shipping decarbonisation, and demand aggregation for zero-emission fuels.

Elena boasts a decade of experience working on sustainability transitions, focusing on the intersection of transport and energy sectors. Before joining the Global Maritime Forum, she developed sector-specific roadmaps and offered policy advice for decarbonising the national aviation and mining industries at state-owned Research Institutes of Sweden. She holds a master’s in environmental management and policy from Lund University.


Prof. Jay Turner
Jay Turner is a Professor of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, the James McKelvey Professor of Engineering Education, Vice Dean for Education, and inaugural Head of the Engineering Education Division with the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, USA. His research primarily focuses on air quality characterization with emphasis on field measurements, lab analysis and data analysis to support air quality management and exposure and health studies. A secondary focus is green engineering. Current work addresses air pollutant exposures as a risk factor for neurodegenerative disease, near-road vegetative buffer impacts on downwind air quality, neighborhood-scale greening (vegetation) impacts on air quality and cardiovascular health, mobile platform measurements to quantify neighborhood- and urban-scale pollutant spatial variability, low-cost air quality and noise sensor evaluations and network deployments, environmental noise monitoring and apportionment to sources, ultrafine particle impacts from air freight hubs, human samples (blood, nails, hair) analysis as biomarkers for environmental exposures, and children’s exposures to air pollution. Current and recent work includes projects in the USA, Mongolia, Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan) and South Africa.


Prof. Zibing Yuan
Dr. Zibing Yuan is a Professor in the School of Environment and Energy, South China University of Technology (SCUT). He earned B.S. degree from Peking University in Chemistry, and a Ph.D. degree from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Atmospheric Environmental Science. Dr. Yuan has over twenty years of research experience in air pollution control in China, especially over the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. He has been serving as the Principal Investigator (PI) of more than ten national and provincial-level research projects, including a key research project funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China, a National Key Research and Development Fund project, and a Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department project on “Source Tracing of Ozone Precursors in the Greater Bay Area”. He serves as the Deputy Director of Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment and Pollution Control, Deputy Secretary-general and the Standing Committee Member of the Ozone Pollution Control Professional Committee, Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences, and recently Deputy Secretary-general of the 7RAQM symposium. He has authored over 90 SCI-indexed publications.

9:30am - 12:00pm
HKUST Business School Central
1501-02, Hong Kong Club Building, 3A Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong
Co-organized by HKUST Institute for the Environment & Division of Environment and Sustainability
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