COP25 | Chinese Minister of Ecology and Environment Meets GAUC Youth

2019-12-14 | Education

COP25 | Chinese Minister of Ecology and Environment Meets GAUC Youth

On December 11, ZHAO Yingmin, the head of the COP25 Chinese delegation and Vice Minister of China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, met with the members of the GAUC Youth League at the Delegation Office of China.

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Minister Zhao shared an exciting news: "I have presented the Youth League’s declaration to the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres; the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa; and the President of COP25, also the Minister of the Environment of Chile, Carolina Schmidt."


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Motivated by the news, members of the GAUC Youth League thanked Minister Zhao for supporting the youth's voice. ZHANG Jiaxuan, leader of the GAUC Youth League and an undergraduate student from the Global Environment Program of the School of Environment at Tsinghua University, presented the background and findings of GAUC and the GAUC-COP25 Youth League. Based on everyone's interest and field of studies, Minister Zhao presented trailored recommendations to every member, encouraging them to combat climate change in their professional fields. 


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Minister Zhao stresses: "The GAUC Youth League is a professional and energetic group of youth. I hope you will make unremitting efforts to empower the new generation in contributing to the cause of climate change and sustainable development!"


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The GAUC Youth League prepared the first GAUC Youth League Collection Memorial for Minister Zhao: hoodie embroidered "Climate Journey, Work Together" (Translation from “气候征程,携手共进”) and reusable bag made of plastic bottles.


Zhang Jiaxuan emphasizes: "The design of the reusable bag records the curve of global warming since the second industrial revolution from 1860 til 2020, the change gradually changes from blue to red. This coincides with the design of the American Pavillion, indicating that everyone is aware of "Common Challenge", Zhang Jiaxuan flipped the bag over and said: "Our design highlight is that the young people represent the future and hope. We must work together to make this curve return to blue!"


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►Group Photo with Minister ZHAO Yingming and the GAUC Youth League


On the same day, the Youth League also discussed the strengths and effective ways of youth climate action through various dialogues with government representatives from China, South Korea, Italy, and Switzerland, experts from international organizations such as the World Bank, business representatives, and representatives from academic institutions in Australia.


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GAUC Youth League member, Tsinghua University and Hopkins University joint master student Joel Christoph served as moderator, introduced the Alliance and GAUC-COP25 youth delegation to the guests, and encouraged members to speak their mind, and ask questions.

Mr. Yeonchul Yoo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Korea, said that all of us share the responsibility of creating a sustainable and livable environment, and young people play an important role in this. Many multinational institutions and organizations currently provide young people with such platform. More and more professionals are joining the discussion on climate change, and higher education institutions is a good place to cultivate the next generation of thinkers, actors, and researchers.

Mr. LU Xuedu, lead climate change expert at the Asian Development Bank, worked in the Chinese delegation in 1996, found that more and more young people are participating in the practice of tackling climate change, and the younger generation is more passionate, creative and energetic. Lu also introduced that the Asian Development Bank training programs for young professionals, including the Asian Youth Forum, dedicated to empowering the younger generation in practice. He hopes that the Youth League can fully utilize their time as witnesses and participants here, so that members can more intuitively understand real negotiations. At the same time, he also called for people with more diverse backgrounds to join in fight again climate change, such as professional managers and industry leaders.

Ms. Roberto Ianna, senior advisor for the Italian Ministry for the Environmental, introduced that with all the attention brought by youth actions, Italy will formulate a new agenda for climate action for 2020 and convene a youth summit to hear youth voices. For the progress of negotiations, the Italian representatives are looking to provide a proposal before February 1 of next year. Roberto Ianna also mentioned that private sector research is increasingly involved and concerned about green technology, and suggests young scholars can utilize these existing research to achieve greater impact.

Ms. Marie-Claire Graf, representative of Switzerland, encouraged members of the Youth League to participate in the negotiation and follow-up. She said, you might not full grasp the content of the negotiation, but you can still share your views and show the youth's style by deeply participating in the negotiation. This is the charm of the conference.

Professor Frank Jotzo of the National University of Australia pointed out that the Paris Agreement has made fundamental changes, which has a fundamental impact on the future emissions trajectory, and has issued a strong signal to the business community, greatly increasing the transparency and specific commitment of countries on environmental protection issues. Implementation probability. Young people should participate in these actions. Young people with different backgrounds can gather together to define future trends and enhance their grasp of key issues.

GAO Xiang, director of the International Policy Research Department at National Center for Strategic Research and International Cooperation on Climate Change, shared his experiences as a first time negotiator in 2009. Through years of accumulated learning, he gradually gained confidence. He stresses, it is not enough to use the knowledge learned from books for negotiation. It is necessary to practice and closely follow the actual negotiation process. Young people, especially young scholars, need to share their research results with business organizations and the public.

Aaron Tang, a member of the Youth League and Ph.D. in International Climate Politics and Governance at the Australian National University, consulted the experts if their organization had young negotiators or young participants. Gao Xiang said that the Party Overflow seats will be given to young people, and will also provide opportunities for young people to make suggestions to the government. There is currently no formal youth participation process.


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▲ Member of GAUC Youth League, Aaron Tang (Right)


Emma, a member of the Youth League and a graduate student of the University of Tokyo, asks participants to imagine a world with "net zero emissions". Roberto Ianna shared: "Behavior change, education, shift to carbon neutrality mode, technology, government managers... (in fact) everything is already in place, all we need is to let more people work towards these goals in their respective fields." Gao emphasized the contribution of young people, and encouraged all members of the Youth League to join in a more green and sustainable world.


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▲Member of GAUC Youth League, Emma


Seize the moment!

Don't stop til you reach the goal

GAUC Youth League

The future awaits for you!

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Group Photo of GAUC-COP25 Youth Delegation


In May 2019, at the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate's first plenary work meeting, the committee decided to launch a series of talent cultivation programs to empower students to participate in the climate governance process. In December of the same year, GAUC and the Youth Climate Change Action Network ("CYCAN") formed the GAUC-COP25 youth delegation, dedicated to promoting the exchange and cooperation of young students around the world, and mobilizing public awareness through cooperation with multiple stakeholders to encourage more climate action.



Main Organizer

In 2019, Tsinghua University, in conjunction with the The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Australian National University (ANU), University of California, Berkeley, Cambridge University, Imperial College London, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Tokyo, and other well-known colleges and universities, initiated the establishment of the "Global Alliance of Universities on Climate" (hereinafter referred to as " GAUC "). GAUC is missioned around joint research, talent development, student activities, green campus, public participation and other major aspects, including the implementation of bilateral and multilateral joint research in climate-related technologies, economics, and policies to promote innovation in technology and policy solutions, carry out joint education projects and the construction of climate-related curriculum systems.

CYCAN is the first Chinese non-profit organization for youth action in the field of climate change. It was jointly established by seven outstanding youth organizations in August 2007, combining their respective resources and strengths. CYCAN's mission is to coordinate and provide services for organizations interested in promoting youth participation in civil society. Building on its domestic and international contacts, it wants to build a sustainable low carbon future. Inspire and guide young people to grasp the opportunities in China and tackle the challenges of climate change and the transition to a sustainable energy future, support Chinese youth to become a new driving force to achieve global sustainable development.

Special Support

Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Tsinghua University The Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development of Tsinghua University was established in December 2017, and Mr. Xie Zhenhua, the Special Representative for Climate Change in China, served as the founding dean. The Institute is committed to establishing a global climate network, conducting high-quality strategic research, training future climate leaders, and contributing to the sustainable development future.

The Center for Global Competence Development (CGCD) was established in April 2018 with a mission to support global competence development for all students, and to facilitate students' development on global competence as an integral component of undergraduate and graduate education. While preparing our students for the world, the CGCD is also dedicated to foster a diverse and culturally inclusive environment in which all students, faculty and staff thrive. 



The author:ISCCD
The translator:Lucy Tony
The Editor: Haijing Ma


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