Full-time Academic Staff

  • Teaching Staff

Dr. Alex Y. Lo 盧宇航 助理教授

Assistant Professor 

Office: 1030 
Phone: +852 3917-7102
Email: alexloyh[at]

HKU Scholars Hub: 

Research Gate:



Alex Lo is an award-winning early career geographer and economist. He is recipient of the prestigious World Social Science Fellowship, Pete Hay Prize, Li Ka Shing Prize, Dr. Stephen S.F. Hui Prizes, and Ada and Arthur Hill Prize. His research focuses on the human dimensions of environmental change and the political economy of sustainability. He is author of Carbon Trading in China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and lead author of more than 55 articles published in highly ranked, ISI-indexed journals. He has been an editorial board member for Environmental Values (UK, ISI-indexed journal) and the Chinese Journal of Urban and Environmental Studies since 2014. 

Lo played a lead role in a number of successful external grant applications. His ongoing projects are supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under the “Young Scientists Fund”, the Regional Studies Association (UK) under the “Early Career Scheme”, and the HKU Hui Oi Chow Trust Fund. He is commissioned by the Hong Kong Government’s Environment and Conservation Fund to assess the impacts of its flagship funding programme, and involved in a collaborative applied research project funded by Australia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. Previously he led several other research projects on climate change governance and politics, which were supported by and Australia’s Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, with co-funding from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Lo received his PhD from the Australian National University in 2011, followed by a permanent lectureship at the Griffith University in Australia, a position he held until 2015. Previously, he held a research appointment at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria, and coordinated environmental education projects for the Hong Kong Government.
2015 Pete Hay Prize, awarded by the Australian Political Studies Association, Melbourne, Australia.
2014 World Social Science Fellowship, awarded by the International Social Science Council based in Paris, France.
2013  DISCCRS Scholarship, awarded by the Dissertations Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research based in the United States.
2009 Li Ka Shing Prize, awarded by the University of Hong Kong.
2009 Dr. Stephen S.F. Hui Prizes in Geography, awarded by the University of Hong Kong.
2008 CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarship, awarded by the CSIRO, Canberra, Australia.
2007 Research Postgraduate Studentship, awarded by the University of Hong Kong.
2007 Ada and Arthur Hill Prize in Environmental Management, awarded by the University of Hong Kong.
Research Interests

Political economy of the environment

  • Society’s economic resilience and adaptation to climate change
  • Climate change politics, governance, and policy
  • Social and moral implications of valuing and pricing the environment

Human dimensions of environmental change

  • Public perception of the environment and environmental risks
  • Social and political context of environmental behaviour
  • Environmental and climate change communication

Geographical focus: China

Selected Publications

Lo, A.Y. (2016) Carbon Trading in China: Environmental Discourse and Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN. 9781137528995.

Journal Articles (as of 31 August 2016)

  1. Lo, A.Y. and Cong, Ren (2017) After CDM: domestic carbon offsetting in China. Journal of Cleaner Production. 141, p. 1391-1399.
  2. Lo, A.Y. and Cheung, L.T.O. (2016) Geographies of social capital: Catastrophe experience, risk perception, and the transformation of social space in post-earthquake re-settlements in Sichuan, China. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 106(4), p. 874-890.
  3. Lo, A.Y. (2016) Small is green? Urban form and sustainable consumption in selected OECD metropolitan areas. Land Use Policy, 54, p. 212-220.
  4. Lo, A.Y. (2016) National Income and Environmental Concern: Observations from 35 countries. Public Understanding of Science, 25(7), p. 873-890.
  5. Lo, A.Y., Cheung LTO, Lee, A., Xu, B. (2016) Confidence and trust in public institution natural hazards management: Case studies in urban and rural China, The Professional Geographer, 68 (3), 475-484.
  6. Lo, A.Y. (2016) Public Support for Environmental Organizations in BRIC Countries. The Geographical Journal, 182(4), p.438-443.
  7. Byrne, J., Ambrey, C., Portanger, C., Lo, A.Y., Matthews, T., Baker, D., and Davison, A. (2016) Could urban greening mitigate suburban thermal inequity? Role of residents' dispositions and household practices. Environmental Research Letters. 11 (9), 095014.
  8. Lo, A.Y., Xu, B., Chan, F.K.S, and Su, R. (2016) Household economic resilience to catastrophic rainstorms and flooding in a Chinese megacity. Geographical Research, 54(4), p.406-419.
  9. Vargas, A., Lo, A.Y., Rohde, N., and Howes, M. (2016) Background inequality and differential participation in deliberative valuation: Lessons from small-group discussions on forest conservation in Colombia. Ecological Economics, 129, p. 104-111.
  10. Rupprecht, C., Byrne, J.A., Lo, A.Y. (2016) Memories of vacant lots: How and why residents used informal urban greenspace as children and teenagers in Brisbane, Australia and Sapporo, Japan. Children's Geographies, 14(3), p. 340-355.
  11. Lo, A.Y. (2016) Public discourses of climate change in Hong Kong. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 18(1), p. 27-46.
  12. Lo, A.Y. (2016) Challenges to the Development of Carbon Markets in China. Climate Policy. 16(1), p. 109-124.
  13. Lo, A.Y. (2016) Carbon Trading in China: Environmental Discourse and Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 9781137528995.
  14. Lo, A.Y., Xu, B., Chan, F.K.S, and Su, R. (2015) Social Capital and Community Preparation for Urban Flooding in China. Applied Geography, 64, p.1-11.
  15. Lo, A.Y. (2015) National Development and Carbon Trading: The Symbolism of Chinese Climate Capitalism Eurasian Geography and Economics, 56(2), p. 111-126.
  16. Lo, A.Y. and Cheung, L.T.O. (2015) Seismic risk perception in the aftermath of Wenchuan earthquakes in southwestern China. Natural Hazards, 78(3), p. 1979-1996.
  17. Rupprecht, C., Byrne, J.A., Ueda, H., and Lo, A.Y. (2015) 'It's real, not fake like a park': Residents' perception and use of informal urban green-space in Brisbane, Australia and Sapporo, Japan. Landscape and Urban Planning, 143, p.205-218.
  18. Lo, A.Y. and Yu, X. (2015) Climate for Business: Opportunities for Financial Institutions and Sustainable Development in the Chinese Carbon Market. Sustainable Development, 23(6), p. 369-380.
  19. Lo, A.Y. (2015) Political Ambiguity in the Chinese Climate Change Discourses. Environmental Values, 24(6), p. 755-776.
  20. Lo, A.Y. and Jim, C.Y. (2015) Come rain or shine? Public expectation on local weather changes and differential effects on climate change attitude, 24, p. 928-942. Public Understanding of Science.
  21. Lo, A.Y. and Chow, A.T. (2015) The Relationship between Climate Change Concern and National Wealth. Climatic Change, 131(2), p. 335-348. *Featured in Nature Climate Change Vol. 5, May 2015.
  22. Jim, C.Y., Lo, A.Y. and Byrne, J.A. (2015) Charting the Green and Climate-Adaptive City. Landscape and Urban Planning, 138, p. 51-53.
  23. Matthews, T., Lo, A.Y., and Byrne, J.A. (2015) Reconceptualizing green infrastructure for climate change adaptation: Barriers to adoption and drivers for uptake by spatial planners. Landscape and Urban Planning, 138, p. 155-163.
  24. Byrne, J.A., Lo, A.Y., and Yang, J. (2015) Residents understanding of the role of green infrastructure for climate change adaptation in Hangzhou, China. Landscape and Urban Planning, 138, p. 132-143.
  25. Chai, A., Bradley, G., Lo, A.Y. and Reser, J. (2015) What time to adapt? How discretionary time contributes to the value-action gap. Ecological Economics, 116, p.95-107.
  26. Lo, A.Y. and Jim, C.Y. (2015) Protest Response and Willingness to Pay for Culturally Significant Urban Trees: Implications for Contingent Valuation Method. Ecological Economics, 114, p.58-66.
  27. Dryzek J.S. and Lo, A. Y. (2015) Reason and rhetoric in climate communication. Environmental Politics, 24(1), pp.1-16.
  28. Lo, A.Y. and Howes, M. (2015) Power and Carbon Sovereignty of a Non-Traditional Capitalist State: The Carbon Trading Discourse of China. Global Environmental Politics 15(1) p. 60-82.
  29. Yu, X. and Lo, A. Y. (2015) Carbon Finance and the Carbon Market in China. Nature Climate Change, 5, pp.15-16.
  30. Lo, A.Y. and C.Y. Jim (2015) Community Attachment and Resident Attitude toward Old Masonry Walls and Associated Trees in Urban Hong Kong. Cities 42, p.130-141.
  31. Lo, A. Y. (2014) The Right to Doubt: Climate Change Scepticism and Asserted Rights to Private Property. Environmental Politics, 23(4), p. 549-569.
  32. Lo, A.Y. (2014) Negative income effect on perception of long-term environmental risk. Ecological Economics, 107, p. 51-58.
  33. Xie, X.L., Lo, A.Y., Zheng, Y., Pan, J., and Luo, J. (2014) Generic Security Concern Influencing Individual Response to Natural Hazards: Evidence from Shanghai, China. Area, 46(2), p. 194-202.
  34. Lo, A. Y. (2014) More or Less Pluralistic? A Typology of the Remedial and Alternative Perspectives on Monetary Valuation of the Environment. Environmental Values, 23(3), pp. 253-274.
  35. Lo, A. Y. (2013) The Role of Perceived Social Norms in Climate Adaptation: Mediating Risk Perception and Flood Insurance Purchase. Global Environmental Change23(5), pp. 1249-1257.
  36. Lo, A. Y. (2013) The likelihood of having flood insurance increases with social expectations. Area, 45(1), pp. 70-76.
  37. Lo, A.Y. and Howes, M. (2013) ‘Powered by the State or Finance? The Organization of China’s Carbon Markets, Eurasian Geography and Economics, 54(4), pp. 386-408.
  38. Lo, A.Y., Alexander K.S., Proctor, W. and Ryan A. (2013) Reciprocity as deliberative capacity: Lessons from a citizens deliberation on carbon pricing mechanisms in Australia. Environment and Planning C: Government & Policy, 31(3), pp. 444-459.
  39. Lo, A. Y. and Spash, C. L. (2013) Deliberative Monetary Valuation: In search of a Democratic and Value Plural Approach to Environmental Policy. Journal of Economic Surveys, 27(4) pp. 768-789.
  40. Lo, A. Y. (2013) ‘Carbon trading in a socialist market economy: Can China make a difference?’ Ecological Economics, 87, pp. 72-74.
  41. Lo, A. Y. (2013) Agreeing to pay under value disagreement: Reconceptualising preference transformation in terms of pluralism with evidence from small-group deliberations on climate change. Ecological Economics, 87, pp. 84-94.
  42. Lo, A. Y. (2013) Household preference and financial commitment to flood insurance in South East Queensland. Australian Economic Review, 46(2), pp.160-175.
  43. Lo, A. Y. (2013) The Political Economy of Carbon Tax: International Practice and the Australian Model. Chinese Journal of Urban and Environmental Studies, 1(1), 15 pages.
  44. Lo, A. Y. (2012) The encroachment of value pragmatism on pluralism: The practice of the valuation of urban green space using stated-preference approach. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
  45. Lo, A.Y. and Jim, C.Y. (2012) Citizen attitude and expectation towards greenspace provision in compact urban milieu. Land Use Policy, 29, pp. 577-586.
  46. Lo, A. Y., Chow, A. T. and Cheung, S. M. (2012) Significance of Perceived Social Expectation and Implications to Conservation Education: Turtle Conservation as a Case Study. Environmental Management, 50(5), pp. 900-913.
  47. Spash, C. L. and Lo, A. Y. (2012) Australia's carbon tax: A sheep in wolf's clothing? Economic and Labour Relations Review, 23(1), pp. 67-86.
  48. Lo, A. Y. and Spash, C. L. (2012) How Green is your scheme? Greenhouse gas control the Australian way. Energy Policy, 50, pp. 150-153.
  49. Lo, A. Y. (2012) ‘Carbon Emission Trading in China’, Nature Climate Change, 2(11), pp. 765-766.
  50. Lo, A. Y. (2011) Analysis and democracy: The antecedents of the deliberative approach of ecosystems valuation. Environment and Planning C: Government & Policy. 29 (6), pp. 958 – 974.
  51. Lo, A. Y. and Jim, C. Y. (2010) Willingness of residents to pay and motives for conservation of urban green spaces in the compact city of Hong Kong. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 9, pp. 113-120.
  52. Lo, A. Y. (2010) Active conflict or passive coherence: The political economy of climate change in China. Environmental Politics.19 (6), pp. 1012-1017.
  53. Lo, A. Y. and Jim, C. Y. (2010) Differential community effects on perception and use of urban greenspaces. Cities. 27 (6), pp. 430-442.
  54. Lo, A. Y. (2010) China’s Response to Climate Change’, Environmental Science and Technology. 44 (15), pp. 5689-5690.
  55. Lo, A. Y. (2008) Achieving environmental goals in a competitive electricity market? Post-colonial Hong Kong, public choice and the role of government. Energy and Environment, 19(7), pp. 958-978.
  56. Lo, A. Y. (2008) Merging electricity and environment politics of Hong Kong: Identifying the barriers from the ways that sustainability is defined. Energy Policy, 36(4), pp. 1521-1537.
Competitive Research Grants

(PI: first-named principal investigator, Co-I Co-investigator)    

  • National Natural Science Foundation of China – Young Scientists Fund. ‘The socio-economic context and the future of domestic voluntary trading of greenhouse gas emission reductions in China’ (2017 - 19). CNY 190,000. (PI)
  • Hong Kong Government’s Environment and Conservation Fund, ‘Research Project for Reviewing the Performance of the Environment and Conservation Fund’ (2016 - 17). HKD 999,720. (PI)
  • Hui Oi Chow Trust Fund - General Award, ‘The regional development of domestic carbon markets in China’ (2017 - 18). HKD99,930. (PI)
  • National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (Australia) ‘Building a business case for coastal adaptation’ (2015 - 16), AUD60,000. (Co-I)
  • Regional Studies Association (UK). Early Career Grant Scheme 2015, ‘Beyond Neoliberalism? The Regional Carbon Markets in China and the Activity of Financial Industry’. (2015 – 16) £9,218. (PI)
  • University of Hong Kong. Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research, ‘A systematic discourse analysis of the climate change policy in Hong Kong’. (2015 – 16) HK$119,340. (PI)
  • Griffith Sciences Group. New Researcher Grant 2014, ‘Economic Resilience to Natural Disaster: What Determine Household’s Financial Preparation for Catastrophic Flooding?’. AUD$9,000. (PI)
  • Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. Australia-China Joint-Action Program 2014, “The Institutions of Carbon Markets in Australian and China: Insights for Policy-making and Regional Cooperation”. The AUD$9,500 in total. (PI)
  • Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia . Australia-China Joint-Action Program 2013, “Climate Risk Governance in Vulnerable Cities: A Comparative Study of Brisbane and Shanghai”. AUD$7,500 in total. (PI)
  • Griffith Climate Change Response Program (GCCRP). GCCRP Seed Funding 2013, “Climate change in the ‘Asian Century’: A comparative analysis of the carbon trading policy discourses of Australia and China”. AUD$14,500. (PI)
  • Griffith Climate Change Response Program. GCCRP Seed Funding 2012, ‘ Economic resilience to climate change impacts: A study of the public preferences for flood insurance’. AUD$15,000. (PI)
Invited Presentations
  • Invited plenary speaker at the 3rd International Conference on Regional Development, Semarang, Indonesia, 9 – 10 November 2016.
  • Invited speaker at the Singapore-China Energy Forum 2014, National University of Singapore, 3 October 2014.
  • Invited speaker at the ACCA21 Workshop on Climate Change Science, Policy & Planning, Beijing, China, 31 March 2014.
  • Invited speaker at the 2nd China-Australia Leadership Dialogue for Climate Change Adaptation, Brisbane, Australia, 2 May 2013
Knowledge Exchange
  • Invited speech: Liberal Studies Curriculum Seminar Series, Curriculum Development Institute, Education Bureau, Hong Kong Government, 25 November 2015.
  • Media article: ‘Too big to fail: China pledges to set up landmark emissions trading scheme’, The Conversation. 26 September 2015.
  • Media article: ‘Wealthy nations overlook the dangers of climate change’, The Conversation. 22 May 2015.
  • Media article: ‘Leaders skip UN talks as China looks to go it alone on carbon’, The Conversation. 23 September 2014.
  • Invited blog post: ‘Market-based solutions to climate change in China’, University of Nottingham China Policy Institute Blog, 9 September, 2014.
  • Invited speech: School of Urban and Geographical Sciences, Tianjin Normal University, China, 28 March, 2014.
  • Media interview: ‘Queenslanders fail to insure for flood despite lessons of the past’, Brisbane Times, 30 January 2013.
  • Media article: ‘Why are so many Queenslanders still without flood insurance?’, The Conversation. 29 January 2013.
  • Media article ‘Carbon trading in the Asian Century: China’s ETS on track’, The Conversation. 15 January 2014.
  • Invited speech: Department of Social Sciences, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, 16 November 2011.
CCGL9049 Carbon, Money, and Lifestyle.
GEOG2128 Economic Geography