90% of Beijing residents want environmental protection over economic growth
As a result of rapid economic development, 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are now in China. A recent study by China’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control reported that more than 17 provinces in China show heavy air pollution that negatively impacts over 600 million people. Pollution from transportation, city-generated waste, food production, and energy production and usage are elevating China’s exposure to catastrophic habitat destruction, natural resource exhaustion and climate change.
Though residents in cities such as Beijing are in accord that climate change is a problem, roughly 1 in 3 people still feel that tackling climate change is not their responsibility. A 2013 survey showed that less than 13% of residents were able to name five simple and effective things they could do to help protect the environment.
With the rise of China’s middle class, younger generations hold the key to China’s climate change future.
What is WildAid doing?:
Beginning in 2011, we launched a campaign in China to influence attitudes, catalyze behavioral change and create collective support for climate action, called 5 To Do Today. Believing that individuals can make a significant, collective impact by modifying daily routines, we began advocating for the following five strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
- Walk, bike, or take public transportation as often as possible.
- Only buy and use energy efficient products and appliances.
- When possible, turn off, unplug, or minimize the use of anything that consumes electricity or water.
- Consume responsibly by buying environmentally conscious foods with smaller carbon footprints, products not high in chemicals, not using plastic bags, or wasting food.
Between 2015 and 2017 we will build on the success of 5 To Do Today by putting our proven methodology to work addressing two of the largest contributors to climate change in China – individual food and transportation choices. Our unique partnerships with media, celebrity ambassadors, technology companies and government will continue to allow our messages to reach hundreds of millions of consumers in China, resulting in the following:
- Raised awareness of China’s pressing environmental crises, specifically related to air pollution, personal health, and climate change.
- Address these crises by improving individual transportation and food choices in China.
- Support Chinese law and policymakers in environmental protection efforts and legislation.
Why Food Choice in China?
- Livestock agriculture contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than all global transportation combined – 14.5%.
- Meat consumption in China has grown six-fold since 1978 and is predicted to rise another 50% by 2030 to 90kg per year. This predicted rise will require an additional amount of meat equal to the consumption level of the entire United States, while exacerbating biodiversity loss, Amazon deforestation and overall greenhouse gas emissions.
- Changing diets are impacting health in China, where childhood obesity has quadrupled in the last generation to 20% and rates of diabetes and pre-diabetes continue to rise. Overconsumption of meat is also linked with non-communicable diseases, which are responsible for 85% of all deaths in China.
- Changing simple dietary habits can have important benefits for both personal health and the health of our planet. Reducing meat consumption and food waste can each cut an individual’s food-related carbon footprint by 33% or more.
Why Transportation in China?
- Transportation is the third largest driver of climate change, after energy production and livestock agriculture.
- Transportation accounts for 33% of air pollution in Beijing and other major cities, causing 1.2 million premature deaths every year in China.
- By 2030:
- 70% of Chinese people will live in urban areas, therefore regularly exposed to air pollution.
- The number of cars in China will quintuple to 600 million.
- Linking the issues of air quality, its health impacts, and transportation choices is therefore the clearest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from China’s roads.
The Impact Timeline
- September 2015: Baidu Maps launches feature for bicycle navigation that features scenic and cultural GOBlue biking routes through Beijing.
- August-September 2015: WildAid launches GOBlue campaign with a series of live events aimed at reducing air pollution, including partnerships with Parkview Green, The National Museum of China, and Baidu.
- May 2015: New PSA series featuring Shanghai Soong Ching Ling kindergarten students is launched in Guanzhou.
- May 2015: Online video featuring Du Haitao shares the message of green transportation with over 5.5 million people in its first month.
- April 2015: New billboards featuring Jackie Chan, Yang Lan, Hai Qing and Du Haitao are installed in the Guangzhou subway.
- September 2014: New environmental and sustainability curriculum for top elementary school classrooms is deployed in partnership with Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation.
- August 2014: WildAid & Energy Foundation partner for new “Restoring Blue Skies” PSA to improve air quality. The PSA has reached over 5 million viewers through traditional and online media.
- August 2014: New partnership with 5 leading mobile app companies is announced. Companies will integrate messages about sustainable living into their app products, which have active users totaling over 100 million.
- July 2014: 5 To Do Today began partnerships with many of China’s leading radio stations to broadcast messages from celebrity ambassadors about reducing energy use and improving air quality.
- July 2014: 5 To Do Today launches 8 new billboards in Shanghai Pudong International Airport, which serves 60 million annual passengers
- June 2014: The first of 6 new 5 To Do Today PSAs was launched to advocate for energy efficient appliances and was shown on Beijing subway lines with a total of 3 million daily riders.
- May 2014: Online campaign featuring five celebrity ambassadors reached more than 1.3 unique individuals online over a single weekend.
- January 2014: Launched new 5 To Do Today websites in China and the US to feature new informational and interactive content on reducing energy consumption and carbon footprints.
- October 2013: 5 To Do Today gains support from Chinese celebrities Hai Qing and Huang Haibo for new PSAs.
- September 2013: 5 To Do Today conducts first survey study in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou to measure environmental attitudes and behavior.
- August 2013: 5 To Do Today and partner organization Top10 launches “Energy Efficient Appliances Guide” infographic online.
- June 2013: 5 To Do Today launches magazine ad on China’s annual Energy Saving Week.
- May 2013: New 5 To Do Today PSAs and documentaries air on more than a dozen TV stations and over nine domestic airlines.
- June 2012: 5 To Do Today launches on Sina Weibo on World Environment Day.
- May 2012: Jackie Chan and Pau Gasol spread 5 To Do Today messages on social media, reaching over 30 million fans and 6,000 video views.
- March 2012: 5 To Do Today meets Minister and Vice-Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Conservation Center.
- September 2011: Lang Lang’s 5 To Do Today billboards launch in Chengdu Airport.
- July 2011: Secured a partnership with the Energy Foundation to produce a mini series documentary highlighting China’s environmental protection roadmap.
- June 2011: Lang Lang’s “Save the Earth” PSA aired on half a dozen TV stations, cumulatively running over 1,300 times.
- March 2011: Lang Lang’s “Save the Earth” PSA begins production and processing.
- November 2010: 5 To Do Today launches its Chinese website.