Chinese adolescents engage in tackling climate change as world celebrates children’s day

BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Garbage sorting, low-carbon transportation, food waste reduction, these are among eight actions proposed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage more Chinese children and adolescents to participate in tackling climate change.

With the theme of responding to climate change, a forum of World Children’s Day was held on Friday in Beijing, aiming to call for more attention to the impact of environmental issues on children and adolescents.

The forum was jointly sponsored by the UNICEF, the All-China Youth Federation, and the Department of Climate Change under the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE).

“As we reimagine a brighter future for children, the forum provides a valuable opportunity to hear from young people and to know about their ideas and solutions for some global challenges,” said Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF representative to China.

She highlighted three points for children and adolescents to participate in tackling climate change: to learn about climate change and its impact, to take actions such as garbage sorting, and to share ideas with policymakers.

Actively responding to climate change is key to sustainable development for generations to come. China will continue to strengthen efforts in this area with greater determination and commitment, said Jiang Zhaoli, an official with the MEE.

Chinese actress Ma Yili, also a UNICEF ambassador, shared her and her two daughters’ low-carbon lifestyle at the forum.

Ma called on all sectors of Chinese society to increase their support for young generations’ participation in responding to climate change.

“I am glad to participate in this occasion, and I hope to learn more about climate change and the ecological environment, and take actions to protect the environment,” said 16-year-old Zeng Ling at the forum.

In the evening, 14 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Changsha, Taiyuan, and Wuhan, lit up local landmark buildings with blue lights for the event.

The lighting ceremony was to celebrate the special day for children and reaffirm the commitment to protect their rights, the UNICEF said.

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