Call for global action on climate change

Xu Weiwei and Yang Han

Call for global action on climate change

Climate change demands global action and cooperation from everyone to address this issue, the biggest global challenge facing mankind, as every year and every choice matters to our common home, according to researchers and journalists who spoke at a webinar in Hong Kong on Friday.

“Planet Earth is our only home, and addressing climate change has a direct bearing on the future of humanity,” said Zhou Shuchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, and the editor-in-chief of China Daily.

“The future of global climate governance is drawing greater attention, and no country can avoid the crisis. There must be global action, global response and global cooperation,” Zhou said while addressing virtual discussions with the theme “Climate Changes: Challenges for Asian Nations”.

Joy Jacqueline Pereira, vice-chair of Working Group II of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said the majority of emissions comes from the energy and agriculture sectors, plus industry, transportation and construction.

“Since pre-industrial times, we have contributed to 1 degree of global warming, and they’re already seeing the consequences. At the current rate, we will reach 1.5 degrees in the very near term,” she said in a keynote speech.

She called for joint action to change that, as even a small rise in temperature has huge consequences. “The lower we can keep the warming, the better it is. And every year matters. The faster we take action, the cheaper is the cost down the road,” she said.

Gao Xiang, a professor at the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said China fulfilled the 2020 carbon-cut target ahead of schedule, and China’s progress can boost confidence in the whole of Asia in pursuit of green recovery with low-carbon ways of life and production.

Public awareness is one of the priority tasks apart from science and technology development, with cities, communities, industrial parks and campuses as low-carbon pilot areas in deployment, and the media can help reach the wider public and build a consensus, Gao said.

Zhou also pointed out the media’s “indispensable and irreplaceable role” in the global climate progress. “Our efforts have fostered favorable public opinion in the international community, which further facilitates Asian nations in their joint endeavor to tackle the global challenge.”

China Daily was one of the event’s organizers, together with the University of International Business and Economics, Shanghai International Studies University, and the Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 of the leading media outlets across 19 Asian countries.

Joining the panel discussions were Jonathan Lynn, head of communications and media relations, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Jessica Cheam, founder and managing director of Eco-Business; Zofeen Ebrahim, Pakistan editor of The Third Pole; Krixia Subingsubing from the Philippine Daily Inquirer; and China Daily reporter Hou Liqiang. Pana Janviroj, executive director of the Asia News Network, joined Dr DJ Clark, multimedia director of China Daily Asia Pacific, as moderators.

Due to different development stages of respective economies, some Asian countries still need to work out a specific post-pandemic action road map to minimize carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement and UN ecological agendas while tapping potentials for sustainable growth, the panelists said.

Contact the writers at vivienxu@chinadailyapac.com