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Beijing girl continues to live "subtraction life" after attending climate Conference

2009-12-14 16:19 BJT

On December 4, 165 students from 44 countries jointly presented the "Children's Climate Declaration" to the president of the 2009 UN Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen. Having read the entire document, the president said she would urge governments of all countries to reach substantial agreements on climate change. As one of the 165 student representatives, Li Chuheng, a female second-year student in class seven at Beijing No.8 Middle School, not only participated in formulating the Children's Climate Declaration, but also drafted the first paragraph, or the preface, of the declaration along with partners from Shanghai.

Li Chuheng (2nd left) with her classmates
Li Chuheng (2nd left) with her classmates

"Climate change is threatening our lives, our families and out future. We, the youth delegates from 44 countries, attending the Children's Climate Forum 2009, will not sit back and watch. We already face the effects of climate change. Our communities are deprived of clean drinking water, denied access to education and are vulnerable to disease every time it floods. Our future is at risk and we demand that something be done. The time for talk is over. Now, we hold you accountable for your actions," the declaration states in its first paragraph.

Our reporter met with Li, who had just finished her lesson at around 4pm on December 8. In regards to the climate change meetings, which were held in Copenhagen, the tall, beautiful girl, who had just returned from the meetings, had much to say.

Holding a perfectly-printed pamphlet titled "Our world, our future—Children's Climate Forum Declaration 2009," Li told reporters, "the content of the pamphlet is divided into five parts, including the prologue, the young children's promise, proposals to governments on adapting to the climate change, proposals to governments for slowing down climate change and the concluding remarks."

"From the contents to the design of the pamphlets, we did the entire process ourselves," Li said, "during that time, we worked overtime until 2am every day. In order to ensure the preciseness of the content, we discussed and modified every word and sentence and the entire declaration was modified for three times, and even some sentences and words were modified seven times. Finally we voted to decide which sentence or word we should use. For example, the word 'future' in 'our future is at risk', both the singular and plural forms can be used. But after heated discussion, we decided to use its singular form to indicate that it is every one's future. Only after 40 votes could we rewrite a word. In order to make the declaration more precise, we also had read lots of documents to learn how to use a word precisely."

There were a total of seven Chinese students participating in the activities on the climate change meetings in Copenhagen. Their proposal of "attaching importance to the education on climate change" was included in Children's Climate Change Declaration. "Education about climate change is not enough in our country and the problem of climate change is barely mentioned in our geography class, let alone studied as an actual subject." Li said, "Some countries such as Japan and Denmark have set up climate change courses and they have been included in the required curriculum. But people in our country have not done enough to develop their knowledge and awareness of climate change."