Green Long March ’09 Kicks off in Beijing

Check out this exciting update from 350.org’s leading partner in China, the Green Long March. They’ve just launched their 2009 campaign – and included 350.org in the kick-off event in Beijing! China is a key player in the international climate negotiations that will culminate in Copenhagen this December. We’re honored to have such an inspirational partner as the Green Long March working with us to celebrate environmental awareness in China.

Student volunteers from the “Green Long March” environmental movement launched a national youth action campaign to support China’s targets for reducing energy consumption and increasing renewable energy use today.

Over 8,000 youth environmentalists and their supporters gathered at Beijing Forestry University for the launch of the 2009 Green Long March, which featured performances and speeches by government officials, environmental experts and student leaders.

“We want to mobilize students to improve energy efficiency and to work with communities on alternative energy projects,” says 21-year-old Green Long March student leader Tong Yu of Beijing Forestry University. “The Green Long March hopes to inspire youth across China to get involved in solving the climate crisis.”

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Organized by the Beijing Forestry University and NGO Future Generations China, the Green Long March is China’s annual movement of youth-led environmental action. Students from over 60 partner universities participate in year-round programs, including a nationwide summer awareness campaign that spans 17 provinces.

“Through the Green Long March, students across China are learning about energy issues and urging quick action to reduce energy consumption,” says Yu Jishun, Secretary General of the Beijing Forestry University Youth League.

The 2009 Green Long March focuses on China’s energy goals for 2010: reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent and increasing the use of renewable energy to 10 percent of total consumption.

Student projects include leading campus-based green energy audits, supporting a biogas demonstration village in Guangdong Province, and coordinating the construction of an energy-efficient water filter in an earthquake-affected village in Sichuan Province.

“Green Long March volunteers are promoting creative energy solutions,” says Frances Fremont-Smith, the Executive Director of Future Generations China. “They are building a greener, healthier and more prosperous China one action at a time.”

Dr. Yang Fuqiang, one of China’s leading climate change scientists, says youth participation is crucial to solving the climate crisis.

“We need the long-term work of several generations,” says Yang, who has researched energy and environmental issues for over three decades with organizations including the Energy Research Institute of the State Planning Commission and as a fellow of the World Bank. “Youth actions like the Green Long March are our hope to win the battles.”

 

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