China, Climate Change and Sustainability

Sustainable Development expert focuses on China

Environmental researcher and activist Dr Dale Jiajun Wen presents an overview of China’s effort on climate change, compares it with countries like the United States, and debunks misconceptions, at two free talks on Monday 30th July 2012.

The events* are at midday in the Chemistry Lecture Theatre C124 at the University and 6:30pm in the City Hall’s Hunter Room.

Dr Wen’s presentation will start with an overview of China’s existing actions on climate change, and place current commitments in relation to other countries.

Misconceptions

She will argue that contrary to popular misconception in the West, China has already engaged and implemented quite substantial efforts to address climate change.

China’s investments in clean energy are, for example, nearly double the United States – almost three times in terms of percentage of GDP. Yet, these efforts are still not enough to counter climate change or to ensure sustainable development.

Dr Wen will highlight challenges for China, explain how the current growth centered development model must change, with the implications of this. She then analyses the political situation of China in climate negotiations.

Blame Game

How did the China blame-game, after the Copenhagen climate, drive climate skepticism within the country and prove counterproductive?  What are the different and often competing schools of thought among China’s ruling elite and academics regarding the future climate regime?

Concluding, she explains why it is important for the west and China to collaborate on sustainability issues and possible ways to rebuild trust.

*To register your attendance at this free event, visit the TFI website at https://www.newcastle.edu.au/research-centre/tfi/communityengagement/forums-signup.html

The speaker

Dr. Dale Jiajun Wen received her PhD at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and has worked closely with organisations such as Third World Network, South Center and the International Forum on Globalization.

In 2005, she published a short book "China Copes with Globalization: a Mixed Review", which examined the environmental and social impacts of China’s rapid industrialization and surveyed alternative voices in the China, including the environmental movement, rural reconstruction movement etc.

Her research includes sustainable agriculture, climate change, energy security, and other globalisation-related issues. She was a coordinate lead author for the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), the “IPCC of agriculture.”

Over the last few years Dr Wen has followed the international climate negotiations closely, with substantial insights to the Chinese government’s reasoning and policy making, as well as to what is happening on the ground in China – both in terms of climate action as well as the effects of the current development trajectory on sustainability.