BGG Sustainability Series: Global Climate Governance and China's Changing Role under Carbon Neutrality

Author: Reagan Li

Notre Dame Beijing Global Gateway (BGG), in partnership with the Peking University Center in Chicago and the Notre Dame Beijing Alumni Club, organized a lecture titled “Global Climate Governance and China's Changing Role under Carbon Neutrality” on October 23. This lecture was part of a series on sustainability supported by the BGG Alumni Sustainability Working Committee.

The speaker was Professor Haibin Zhang, Vice Dean and Professor of the School of International Studies and vice dean of the Institute of Global Health and Development at Peking University in China. He has a long history of participation of UN climate conferences and is a member of the Chinese delegation for United Nations Environmental Assembly. He participated in China-U.S. 1.5 Track of Climate Expert Dialogue and China-France 1.5 Track of Climate Expert Dialogue between 2013-2015.

During the lecture, Zhang explained the origin and development of the concept of carbon neutrality, global climate governance under carbon neutrality as well as the cooperation and contention among great powers, and China's changing role in global climate governance including China’s efforts and areas of improvement in addressing climate change. He emphasized that global climate change is evolving into a global climate crisis and addressing it is one of the most important tasks for China and the world.

The event was moderated by Shan Huang, deputy managing editor and editorial board member of Caixin Media and president of the Notre Dame Beijing Alumni Club.

“Prof. Zhang gave us a broad picture of how the politics of climate change evolves and ends up being mainstream perception and action plank for the whole world,” Huang says. “Also, Prof. Zhang led us through the evolution of climate change in China and the rationale behind China’s wholehearted embrace of taking urgent actions against climate crisis. The speech is really insightful and rich in its contents, casting light on what is at stake at the upcoming Glasgow Cop 26.”

Huang is a former student of Zhang at Peking University and a member of the BGG Alumni Sustainability Working Committee, which comprises Chinese alumni of Notre Dame in media, food, tech, education, architecture, and non-governmental sectors. Through this committee, BGG seeks to work with alumni on programs and events related to sustainability and combine resources of the Notre Dame community.