WildAid, in partnership with China Green Carbon Foundation and supported by China Environment News Agency, recently launched “Every Climate Action Counts”, a campaign aiming to inspire simple actions to reduce individual carbon footprints contributing to climate change.
In the summer of 2022, China was hit by its most severe heatwave in six decades, exacerbating a drought that impacted food supply, factory production, power supplies and transport in many parts of the country. Due to frequent extreme weather events like this, the public’s attention to climate change issues has also grown tremendously over the past year. According to Tsinghua University’s “Climate Change Awareness in the Chinese Mind Survey Report 2022” to be released after COP 27, more than 85% of respondents understand how climate change is connected to everyday life and are looking for actions they can take to become part of the solution.
By using the organization’s unrivaled network of media resources and proven campaign methodology, WildAid’s climate program “EarthAid” works to strengthen the public’s understanding on climate change, inspire climate action, and encourage a range of lifestyle choices to reduce consumption-based carbon footprints.
The campaign, launched in late September, features one of China’s most popular celebrities, actor and cycling enthusiast Wu Lei (Leo). Leo demonstrated his climate action, bike riding, in the campaign’s outdoor advertising and an interactive social game, which allows users to create a poster with a customized name and climate action. Leo then invited his 47 million social media followers to share their own climate action through the game to fight climate change together. The campaign materials garnered over 57 million views on social media in its first week, with the video PSA receiving 10 million watches and over 100,000 shares.
Forty of WildAid’s partners in China, including Tsinghua University, Vanke Foundation, CYCAN, Huawei, Airbnb, and MediaCom, joined the campaign by showcasing their customized climate action posters through social media. As of late October, tens of thousands of people had played the interactive social game, collecting more than 3,000 different climate actions. Some of these actions are featured in the “Public Climate Action Handbook” created by WildAid, with sustainability and ESG consulting agency, SynTao.
“Young people are more likely to witness the catastrophic consequences of climate change but are also the generation with the greatest potential to turn a sense of crisis into action,” said Yu Chong, the Chief Representative of WildAid China. “That’s why we designed this Handbook and invited them to co-create it. We hope the campaign and the Handbook can inspire them to proactively find climate actions that work best for themselves, rather than being passively told what to do.”
This handbook is not a ‘must-do’ list but a ‘diagnosis’ of the barriers to climate action, showing five obstacles: laziness, reluctance to pay more, hesitation to act, pessimism, and confusion in an exciting and lively way. It is also a “roadmap” to guide young people from ignorance to active innovation, and to see how other people around them have grown into “climate innovators”.
Relevant research released from the Chinese Academy of Sciences shows that the carbon emissions generated by household consumption account for 53% of the total carbon emissions of the whole society. According to IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Priyadarshi Shukla, having the right policies, infrastructure, and technology in place to enable changes to our lifestyles and behavior can result in a 40-70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Lang Hua, Partner and Deputy General Manager of SynTao, said, “the green transformation of the consumer side is an important driver for promoting the low-carbon transformation of the supply chain and the whole society. By tracking the trend of low-carbon consumption, we found that 58.44% of respondents hope low-carbon consumption and lifestyle will become more individuals’ consensus and daily action. Among them, young people have a stronger willingness to share, which can promote the spread of low-carbon concepts. Through this handbook and campaign, we hope the younger generation can see more possibilities for climate action and express it in their way: I care, I act!”
WildAid, one of the 100 co-initiators of the Global Youth Climate Week, released the handbook on November 3rd as a key event activity. Global Youth Climate Week is a week-long event initiated by Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC) one week before every UNFCC COP, aiming to mobilize youth’s climate actions for more concrete contributions to addressing climate change. On behalf of young people, WildAid ambassador Leo believes, “This co-created handbook shows the great value of small actions. I encourage more young people to contribute their imagination, creativity and action to make a feature of Chinese youth and a sustainable future.”
“Achieving carbon neutrality is a global trend, and more people must be encouraged to act. This is why we launched the Global Youth Climate Week jointly with more than 100 co-initiators,” said Dr. Wang Binbin, the Executive Secretary-General of GAUC and the Chief Expert of the “Climate Change Awareness in the Chinese Mind Survey Report 2022”. “Our survey shows people lack knowledge of how they can get involved with helping to achieve carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals. The handbook, however, provides a starting point for everyone. I hope that in the future, our survey and the handbook can be combined to provide bottom-up assistance to achieve the goals.”
The English version of the handbook will be released at UNFCCC COP27 to show the world the voice and strength of Chinese youth in climate action.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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