Mother Earth: Education and Climate Change
Today, on Mother Earth Day, I ask each one of us to be mindful of the impacts our choices have on this planet, and what those impacts will mean for future generations.——UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Mother Earth day in China
International Mother Earth Day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.
Students demonstrate craftwork produced out of recycled materials during an environmental awareness activity marking Earth Day, which falls on April 22, at the Second Primary School in Donglin Township of Huzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, April 19, 2019. (Xinhua/Xu Yu)
Activities on drawing beautiful earth was held in China’s Hebei Province.(Xinhua)
Climate change is one of the largest threats to sustainable development globally and is just one of many imbalances caused by the unsustainable actions of humankind, with direct implications for future generations.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement encourage international cooperation among parties on climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information.
Chinese envoy calls for global response to climate change
China's permanent representative to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu on Friday called for joint response to climate change by the international community.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly's high-level meeting on Climate and Sustainable Development for All, Ma said that climate change is a major challenge bearing on the future and destiny of mankind, and thus it requires the international community to join hands in addressing it.
"We must honor our commitments made under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Paris agreement," he said, calling on countries to follow the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, and equity and respective capabilities.
The Chinese envoy called on the developed countries to deliver on their promises to mobilize 100 billion U.S. dollars every year by 2020, and to transfer advanced technologies to developing countries, so as to enhance their capacity to cope with climate change.
Global partnership should be consolidated to enable exchanges and sharing of best practices, with a view to deepen practical cooperation on climate change, he added.
China’s climate action
In combating with climate change, China will pursue both high-quality development and environmental protection by reforming and refining relevant systems, according to the Government Work Report delivered in the opening of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress.
Aerial photo taken on Sept 1, 2018 shows an early autumn scenery of the Hongze Lake wetland in Sihong county, East China's Jiangsu province. [Photo/Xinhua]
According to the report, China plans to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by 3 percent in 2019, while making continuous effort to decrease the density of PM 2.5, a major particle pollutant, in key locations, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta region and the Fenhe-Weihe River Plain area.
Stronger moves will be made to tackle pollution from industrial production, coal used as fuel and motor vehicles, which are the three major sources of pollution. Upgrading heating, shifting from coal to clean energy, will be promoted continuously in northern China, according to the report.
China plans to achieve a 2-percent drop in both chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen emissions this year as the government makes strengthened efforts to curb water and soil pollution.
Work targeting malodorous water bodies will be accelerated, and comprehensive measures will be taken to improve the environment in key river basins and offshore areas, according to the report.
“We will step up sorting in solid waste and urban garbage disposal,” the report said.
The country will also heed enterprises’ justified concerns and provide better assistance and guidance to them, according to the report.
“Enterprises that need to take measures to meet standards should be given a reasonable grace period to do so, and we must avoid handling things in a simplistic and crude way or just shutting firms down to be done with it,” it said.
The work to prevent and control pollution is certain to produce more effective results when enterprises have both motivation and external pressure, it adds.
According to the report, a series of measures will be launched to strengthen green and environmental industries, including quickening the pace of upgrading thermal power, steel and other industries to achieve ultra-low emissions and enforcing upgrades in heavy-polluting sectors to achieve compliance with standards.
While promoting cleaner use of coal and working faster to address the problem of idle capacity in wind, solar and hydroelectric power, China will also speed up the development of sewer networks and treatment facilities in urban areas, the report said.
“We will boost resources conservation and recycling and encourage the construction of eco-friendly buildings,” it said.
It added that environmental economic policies will be reformed and improved to accelerate the development of green finance, develop leading enterprises specializing in environmental protection, and enhance the country’s capacity for green development.
Trials to conserve and restore the ecosystems of mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, farmland and grassland will be pressed ahead with as China steps up its effort to protect and restore ecosystems, it adds.
“Promoting green development is down to every last one of us; its success hinges on action and commitment. We must all work together to create a beautiful and livable environment for our people,” it said.
During the commemoration of 10th anniversary of International Mother Earth Day, the Ninth Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature will be held on 22 April 2019 in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.
The Interactive Dialogue is to discuss the contributions of Harmony with Nature in ensuring inclusive, equitable and quality education on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and to inspire citizens and societies to reconsider how they interact with the natural world in the context of sustainable development, poverty eradication and climate justice, so as to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in Harmony with Nature.