World / Reporter's Journal

Climate change brings out stars at the United Nations

By Zhang Yuwei (China Daily USA) Updated: 2014-09-24 12:37

 Climate change brings out stars at the United Nations

Chinese actress and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Li Bingbing speaks at the UN Climate Change Summit on Tuesday. Provided to China Daily

The just concluded one-day climate change summit at United Nations headquarters in New York saw strong support from the international community, ranging from heads of state and business leaders to civic activists and celebrities.

Despite some criticism of nations for not giving concrete pledges during the summit, the level of participation and support definitely went beyond expectations and has already had, as some observers put it, some positive impact on the UN climate change conference planned for Paris next year.

The unprecedented climate change event - convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - drew more than 6,000 media credential requests from more than 100 countries. Journalists lined up in front the UN Secretariat on Tuesday morning waiting for hours to get screened and gain access to the General Assembly Hall, where the main event was held.

The opening ceremony kicked off with speeches by Ban and a number of climate change advocates, making a call to the world community to act on this global issue.

Speakers included former US vice-president and environmental activist Al Gore, Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Pachauri, Chinese actress and United Nations Environmental Program Goodwill Ambassador Li Bingbing and Hollywood actor and the newly appointed UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio.

Li Bingbing expressed her concerns about various risks caused by the pressing global issue and called on youth to participate in the global mission. Li, whose recent big gigs include a role in the Hollywood blockbuster Transformers 4, said it was her ongoing mission to help raise awareness of the environment.

Climate change brings out stars at the United Nations

"When I have gained so much of the spotlight from media and support and appreciation from my fans because of my movies, I feel it is important to act on something that is a good cause for the whole society just to show my gratitude," Li said in an interview with China Daily after her speech.

"It gives me a feeling of taking on real responsibilities, bigger responsibilities," Li said.

Among UN member states, China's support for the event ranged from the government to the private sector.

Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, who attended the summit as President Xi Jinping's envoy, mentioned in his speech China's plan to announce post-2020 actions on climate change to peak its CO2 emissions.

Fu Chengyu, chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, at a private sector business luncheon, said the company has focused on a green, low-carbon development strategy, committing more than $5 billion to environmental protection projects.

It allocated $3.8 billion over three years for the initiative to implement 803 environmental projects, Fu said.

Wang Chuanfu, founder and chairman of Chinese electric-car maker BYD Group, called for the use of "green vehicles" at an urban transport session.

The carmaker has made great contributions to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen for its goal to become a "green city", which won a C40 City Climate Leadership Award in the category of urban transportation on Monday.

"Zero-emission vehicles have helped the world to open a new chapter in cutting CO2 emissions effectively," Wang said.

Contact the writer at


Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics