We are contributing to China’s own efforts to put economic growth on a more socially and economically sustainable path through work in climate change and social innovation. We offer self-development opportunities by improving English standards, administering examinations and supporting UK education in China. Connections through Culture – our flagship arts programme – fosters links between arts institutions in China and the UK.
Climate Cool, a major new initiative to raise awareness of climate change and encourage action to tackle it has reached over 100 million people, including television audiences, across China and Hong Kong since its launch in March 2007.
The Climate Cool programme was developed in response to international calls for action to tackle climate change and to increase UK–China collaboration in this area. Climate Cool offers an innovative and creative approach to raising awareness of climate change through targeted programmes aimed at schoolchildren, journalists and the general public.
The education strand of the programme focuses on educating and engaging high school students about the cause and impact of climate change and by increasing the professional capacity of teachers. The Climate Cool Green Your School competition has been rolled out to 130 schools across the region, engaging 100,000 school pupils. The students develop and implement plans to improve their school’s environmental performance and save money, while teachers learn creative teaching methods for communicating climate change issues. The 2007 Beijing competition final was broadcast to a nationwide audience of over ten million.
Hong Kong’s Climate Cool E-Learning Platform uses education technology from the UK, which enables schoolchildren in Hong Kong to discuss Climate Cool issues with their peers in Hong Kong and the UK.
Each year a group of 15- to 19-year-olds from mainland China and Hong Kong are selected to be Young Climate Change Awareness Ambassadors. Their programmes have ranged from running a series of lectures in their schools to interviewing the UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, in Beijing, in February 2008.
The media strand of the programme focuses on enhancing the skills and providing the resources needed by journalists in China to enable them to report accurately on climate change.
A series of specially devised workshops on climate change, led by UK experts and journalists, has provided Chinese media with an understanding of the social, economic, security and political issues arising from climate change and given them the necessary professional skills to report on climate change-related issues. Since March 2007 more than 400 journalists from 83 media organisations in mainland China have received this training. Workshop participants can apply for the UK–China Climate Change Media Award Scheme, which gives successful applicants the opportunity to undertake a study tour to the UK.
The programme also aims to provide the general public with information on and guidance about climate change. Over 375,000 people visited the Climate Cool By Design Exhibition in Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou, which aimed to educate visitors on how to change personal behaviour to mitigate the future impact of climate change. Ninety-four per cent of those visitors surveyed agreed that the exhibition had increased their understanding of how their behaviour affected climate change.
In its first year the Climate Cool programme has reached more than half a million people directly; ten million through the dissemination of training and information; and millions more through the online, print and broadcast media.
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