[Professor Percival's former student Huang Jing, who was in Copenhagen with the China Youth Action Climate Network,has contributed the following more detailed blog post about her activities at the recent Copenhagen Conference]
China-U.S. Youth Climate Change: Our Shared Future
On December 10th, from 7-10pm at the University of Copenhagen, about 40 Chinese youth and 60 U.S. youth hold a workshop on “Our Shared Future” in Copenhagen University. This workshop was an unprecedented meeting to discuss their individual journeys to the Copenhagen climate talks, create new relationships that transcend language and cultural differences, and pioneer a new generation of US-Chinese diplomacy built on shared trust and ambition. The main participants came from the most influential US and Chinese youth climate organizations, including the China Youth Climate Action Network, which unites hundreds of campuses and thousands of students across China, and SustainUS, which is leading the largest US youth delegation to the Copenhagen climate talks. After frank and honest conversation on their road to Copenhagen and the climate strategy for the shared future, the young people from the two biggest emitters built mutual trust and would like to explore their ambitions together in the future.
Following this workshop, a joint press conference featuring youth of the two respective countries was held December 14 at 4:00pm in Asger Jorn press conference room of Bella Center. Youth representatives from the United States and China discussed their experiences from the joint meeting and shared plans to continue the development of a relationship based on mutual trust and cooperation in transitioning towards a prosperous and sustainable future for both countries. By joining together, Chinese and United States youth are leading in a way that their elected officials have not been able to.
Every day, about 15,000 people flooded into Bella Center, including governmental representatives, UN staffs, press and media, NGO delegators. The China Youths are 30 among the 15,000. During the COP 15, the first Chinese Youth delegation launched various campaigns to help the world hear their voice.
Campaign One: Green China
On the opening day of COP 15, the Chinese youth delegation, together with Chinese entrepreneurs, also members of Society Entrepreneur Ecology (SEE) and Shanshui Conservation Center, launched the Green China initiative campaign. Jointly they made a promise to build a green China. Chinese youth will do their best to influence the other 400 million Chinese youth to promote climate change actions. We drew considerable attention from much of the news media, including the BBC, Beijing TV station, etc. It was a great presence.
Campaign Two: Traditional Chinese Medical Diagnoses on Climate Change
We held our second major campaign on the 3rd day of COP15 in the Bella Centre: the traditional Chinese Medicine diagnoses on climate change. Our inspiration came from the philosophy behind Chinese medicine - the diagnosis of a whole body as a system. We seek to view the whole world as one system, and work together to combat climate change. Also Chinese medicine is a long-term cure that promotes the enhancement of overall wellness rather than a quick fix.
So we set up a stand decorated as the traditional Chinese Medicine doctor stand and designed a two-meter high thermometer. At every hour, the temperature was raised one degree Celsius, and one living creature (we had our team members dressed up as pandas, monkeys, elephants etc. ) perished and had to be taken away by the devil. We also gave a diagnosed prescription that addressed issues and actions regarding climate change to each 'patient'. We sincerely hope our participants can take actions NOW before it is too late.
Campaign Three: Join in the March, Because There is 'No Planet B'
Dec. 12th was the Global Climate Action Day in Copenhagen. Thousands of similar activities were held worldwide to echo the same message. About 100,000 environmental activists representing 515 environmental NGOs from 67 countries descended on downtown Copenhagen to call for "climate justice".
This was the first time the China youth delegation became part of the people, holding a banner and shouting slogans. We, together with the other demonstrators, hoped to wake up people’s awareness on climate change issues. Every bit of public education can contribute to promoting fundamental changes in society. Ordinary people must change their lifestyles for the planet because there is “No Planet B”.
Due to limitations on the entrance of NGOs into Bella Center, we had to cancel some planned activities in the second week of COP 15. For example, we were supposed to have our “wish tree” campaign, inviting people to write up their climate wishes and put it up in the tree on Dec. 16th, the last day NGOs could get into Bella Center. But people could no longer be satisfied with this type of mild and even poetic way of expressing ourselves on that day. However, we tried our best, and we have no regrets.
[Photos of Huang Jing's group in Copenhagen are posted at: http://www.globalenvironmentallaw.com. Click on "Huang Jing" at the top of the welcoming page].