Internal reorganisation of EEB (Environment Branch) and EPD to take effect from January 1

The existing merged structure of the Environment Branch of the Environment and Ecology Bureau and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) will be changed from January 1, 2023. The duties of the Environment Branch and the EPD will be segregated to handle mainly policy formulation and execution of duties respectively, so as to strengthen climate change actions, waste reduction and recycling, and various environment-related tasks.

After the internal reorganisation, the Environment Branch will continue to be headed by the Permanent Secretary for Environment and Ecology (Environment) (PS(E)). The PS(E) will head the civil service team in the Environment Branch, to assist the Secretary for Environment and Ecology in formulating, co-ordinating and steering policies on energy, environmental protection and assessment, air and water quality improvement, waste management, climate change, sustainable development and nature conservation. The post of the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be reinstated in the EPD to head the department as well as assist the Environment Branch to formulate, evaluate and execute various environment policies, strategies, measures and legislations. The Government will, in accordance with the existing established procedure, announce the appointment of the DEP in due course.

Combating climate change is an important issue across the globe. After internal reorganisation, the Office of Climate Change and Carbon Neutrality in the Environment Branch will be set up to oversee the formulation and co-ordination of the Government's strategies, policies and action plans for tackling climate change and achieving carbon neutrality for Hong Kong. The EPD will also set up the Waste Reduction and Resources Circulation Office to implement municipal solid waste charging and complementary waste reduction and recycling initiatives, including the development of a food waste collection network, management of a community recycling network and outreaching service, and promotion of public awareness on waste reduction and recycling.

The proposal of internal reorganisation of the Environment Branch and the EPD had been supported and passed by the Legislative Council Finance Committee on December 9. Duties and responsibilities among the directorate posts in the Environment Branch and the EPD will be redistributed upon the internal reorganisation. A total of 167 non-directorate posts from the EPD will be transferred to the Environment Branch. The reorganised Environment Branch and the EPD will maintain current services to the public, and continue to communicate with different sectors and implement various policies, and work on environment and ecology.

Ends/Friday, December 30, 2022
Issued at HKT 18:58