University hosts BBC climate debate

University hosts BBC climate debate

PA 308/09

World-leading China experts will join the BBC’s Chinese Service for a landmark web and broadcast debate on climate change at The University of Nottingham to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on December 7th 2009.

The University’s School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, a leading China research centre, will host the event when an expert panel will discuss the role of China, the world’s biggest CO2 emitter, in dealing with this global environmental challenge. They will also take questions from the public. The event is expected to reach a wide Chinese audience from students, researchers and academics at the University to communities across the world and the BBC’s audience in China itself.

Head of the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies and Professor of Economics and Chinese Sustainable Development, Shujie Yao, will join Dr Sheng Xiangyu, Associate Director at Scott Wilson’s Environment and Natural Resources Group, and one other expert, on the three-member panel to take questions from the public. It will be presented wholly in Mandarin by Le An and Kai Lu of the BBC Chinese Service.

Professor Yao said: “Climate change is an important issue for China and the rest of the world. China has overtaken the US as the biggest CO2 emitter so China’s rapid growth will have the most significant impact on the environment and climate change. The Copenhagen Summit will focus on this issue and China is a key player in the international effort to limit the damage on the environment.”

According to Professor Yao’s forecasts, the Chinese economy is about to overtake Japan and despite the current financial crisis, China will still achieve GDP growth of eight per cent partly due to the huge four-trillion-yuan stimulus package and partly due to a substantially-more-than-usual bank lending package of one trillion yuan.

The Nottingham debate will most likely focus on the question of whether China will be able to maintain its high growth without adding more carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the environment. This may imply that China would have to improve its industrial efficiency and to use more advanced technology and innovation to employ alternative cleaner energy sources, according to Professor Yao. This would have to be achieved through greater international cooperation.

China’s industrial structure would also need to adjust so that its growth would not be overly dependent on heavily-polluting industries, the economist said. This would mean focusing relatively less on exports and manufacturing, but relatively more on agriculture and services to stimulate domestic demand in order to reduce pollution measured by per unit of GDP.

Members of the public are welcome to pose questions to the panellists during the debate and beforehand on the event’s website:

The SCCS-BBC debate will take place at the Great Hall, Trent Building, University Park Campus of The University of Nottingham. Those interested in attending must email Miss Davina Malcolm davina.malcolm [a] (p) uk to reserve a place beforehand. Doors will close at 13.55 as the debate and webcast filming will start promptly at 14.00.

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