Letter from China: Earth Hour: Lights off, green action on-Xinhua

Letter from China: Earth Hour: Lights off, green action on

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-28 11:22:48

by Xinhua writer Zhou Qianxian

BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhua) -- On Saturday night, I participated in the Earth Hour lights-out activity in China's host city Ordos. It was a deeply moving experience.

From 20:30 to 21:30, all iconic public buildings in Ordos in north China's Inner Mongolia, went dark, joining landmarks worldwide including the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House and the London Eye.

Standing in the darkness, surrounded by the muted glow of streetlights and dim outlines of familiar objects, I felt a renewed sense of hope for the future of our planet.

The hour was not just a moment of darkness, but a beacon of hope, illuminating the path toward a sustainable future.

Earth Hour was initiated by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to encourage individuals worldwide to come forward to preserve energy. For its 18th edition this year, people from 190 countries and territories participated by switching off non-essential lights on the last Saturday of March.

According to organizers, the hour is a moment of unity that brings the world together, shining a spotlight on nature loss and the climate crisis, and inspiring millions more to act and advocate for urgent change.

How should I spend 60 minutes doing something positive for our planet? I chose to pick up trash in our neighborhood while listening to a podcast about climate change, and then share information about climate change with those involved.

The renowned light painting artist Wang Sibo, also helped guide us in creating light art, as a way to advocate for the public's engagement and attention toward protecting the natural ecology.

In the daytime, I participated in a series of themed activities for the event, organized by the WWF, the Center for Environmental Education and Communications of Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and the Ordos municipal government.

An international seminar focusing on "green, low-carbon, and high-quality development" attracted nearly 100 government representatives, industry experts and business delegates to discuss the future of low-carbon development, energy transformation, and climate innovation.

"We are pleased to see that China's energy transition is progressing in a steady and orderly manner," said Zhou Fei, Chief Program Officer of WWF China, at the seminar.

Pan Jiahua with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told that in honoring its pledge to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, China has advanced the green transition of its economy and the development of ecological civilization on a robust scale with a slew of practical measures.

Ordos, known as China's coal capital, for example, has propelled green transformations in its energy, industry, and transportation sectors in recent years, said Du Huiliang, mayor of the Ordos municipal government.

To date, Ordos has installed new energy facilities with a total capacity of 10.4 million kilowatt, resulting in an annual generation of over 20 billion kilowatt-hours of green electricity. This achievement has led to the conservation of approximately 6.2 million tonnes of standard coal and a reduction of about 16.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, according to the city's bureau of ecology and environment.

After the seminar, my visit to Ordos Net Zero Industrial Park initiated and established by Envision Group, was an eye-opener.

In the park, a new electric system caught my attention. Through an intelligent IoT system and an energy island combining wind power, solar power, energy storage, and green hydrogen, 80 percent of the power will be supplied directly with green energy, with the remaining 20 percent traded with the grid. This achieves a 100 percent supply of green energy.

Stepping into an intelligent battery factory in the park, I encountered a bustling scene of production and assembly, with the production lines introducing advanced processes and state-of-the-art equipment to achieve a high level of automation. This not only significantly improves production efficiency but also ensures product consistency.

The park's design and operation are a blend of efficiency and eco-friendliness, showcasing how economic growth can achieve while minimizing impact on the planet.

Delving deeper, I realized that Ordos Net Zero Industrial Park is not the only one blazing a trail to a green future since the concept of "green is for green, green is for growth and green is for great" is widely accepted in China.

Earth Hour activity was also a reminder that every one of us has the power to make a difference, even in the smallest of ways. I am already looking forward to the Earth Hour next year and hope you will join me!