China and Climate change – A smoggy situation

I’m Bill Zhu from Beijing, and I am one of the 129 founding students of UWC Changshu China. I’ve spent most of my life in Beijing, one of the most polluted metropolitan cities in the world, and I might have a more personal understanding of the phrase “sustainable future” in the UWC mission statement.

As the COP 21 unveiled in Paris on November 30th, Beijing’s air pollution rose to hazardous levels, a level that is 6 times the standard set by the UN. This year’s COP21 aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping the global warming below two degree Celsius. China, being the largest green house gas emitter in the world, aims to have its emission peak around 2030, which means that carbon emission is going to keep increasing for another 15 years.

The fate of our planet and its inhabitants, you and me, is in our own hands. The awareness for not only environmental sustainability but also cultural sustainability and the willingness to be change-makers is essentially the mission of the UWC movement; and I’m excited to be part of this movement and I sincerely wish the COP21 a successful conference.

Bill Zhu


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