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Forums > Living in Kunming > COP15 Live Broadcast

I don’t doubt the resolve of your home nation, Finland, which aims to become carbon-neutral by 2035. An ambitious net-zero target that is decades ahead of the pack. In general, Nordic countries are spearheading the green movement for the world to follow.

If only the European Union as a whole embodied their Northern neighbors' level of urgency.

To the EU’s credit, they’ve just proposed the doubling of external funding for biodiversity. Yet, how stringent was the EU body on member nations for infractions and noncompliance of the 20 biodiversity treaty provisions set a decade ago in Aichi, Japan?

Most of the signed provisional targets set by the CBD fell short due to the lack of implementation. Accountability measures should be safeguarded this coming decade to ensure commitments to Kunming Declaration will be implemented. A message not just directed at the EU, but for all COP15 delegates, including the host nation.

What isn’t said often reverberates the loudest. The absence of the US at the COP15 sticks out like a sore thumb. After all, they are the second largest CO2 emitter in the world after China.

The US is slated to return to the UN environmental council under the Biden administration. A seat at the table the Americans relinquished under the previous Trump administration. How will the musical chairs play out if the Republicans reclaim the WH or Congress in ‘24? What about the mortal enemy of the Amazon rainforest in Bolsonaro and his reelection bid in ‘22?

These are the shifting tides of political impermanence I had in mind. To a lesser extent the 27 EU member states.

I assume the US, the UK, and the EU will be more actively involved in COP26. A climate change conference to be held in their relative backyard of Glasgow, Scotland later this month under the presidency of the UK.

Forums > Living in Kunming > COP15 Live Broadcast

That fund is intended for developing nations. Poor countries represented in the COP15 need the bulk of that fund. They are more concerned about feeding their own people than about protecting biodiversity.

Other notable China pledges in Xi’s address today:

- Carbon neutrality (net-zero carbon dioxide emissions) by 2060

- 65% carbon (CO2) emission reduction (from 2005 level) by 2030

- A massive wind and solar renewable energy project underway
(Being built in the desert, the first phase will generate 100 gigawatts of clean energy; equivalent to a year worth of electricity generated by 25 million US homes. Four times the energy output of Three Gorges Dam. Enough to rival all solar & wind power in India.)

- Touched on the “30 by 30” goal, but didn’t specify China’s commitment to protecting 30% of land and oceans by 2030. (Currently, 18% of land are under conservation protection in China)

For many of the 195 participating countries in this conference, elected officials do not have at their disposal China’s deep war chest and toolbox for implementation, nor the luxury of muscle flexing until 2030 or beyond. Reelections may be just around the corner. Appeasing voting constituents, rival factions, and lobbyists/business interests are all on their plates, like tossed salad.

Forums > Living in Kunming > COP15 starting in about 40 days

A challenging, multilateral balancing act awaits COP15 as heavy overcast hangs over Kunming.

This will be the first of two rounds of negotiations for ministerial representatives from around the world. As @lemonlover mentioned, this meeting will mostly convene remotely for obvious reasons.

The previous congregation of such was held 11 years ago in Japan. The bar (of agreement reached) was set low. Degradation of nature and the climate change fallout have never been more evident than as of late.

More urgency is needed this time around, but don’t expect a dramatic outcome this week. The final deal, dubbed “Kunming Declaration,” is to be ironed out in Spring City again next year, in April or May 2022.

The main goal of these conferences is to renegotiate the reversal of habitat destruction caused by man-made global warming & human encroachment decades in the making. Most participating members of the United Nations will be nudged to commit to protecting 30% of their total land by the end of this decade.

The current state of reality is bleak.

Only 17% of land (7% for oceans), on average, are conserved. Negotiating the near doubling of that land protection may be a tall order. Thus far, 70 nations have pledged commitment to reach this 30% target.

Unfortunately, the majority of the U.N. parties are spending more on subsidizing their industries that harm biodiversity than for funding conservation. USD$500 billion of worldwide government subsidies are currently allocated to fishing, fossil fuel-related, and agricultural industries that upend mother nature and her ecology, according to data from the WWF.

China has more weight on their shoulders at the lectern as this year’s host. To extol, to urge, and to lead by example, as an aspiring world leader ought to demonstrate on the global stage.

China has already pledged to protect 25% of their total land. Commendable, but that figure needs to be increased by an additional 5%. Agreeing to keep 30% of territory ecologically unsullied is a gesture of goodwill. Nations more resistant to change may or may not follow suit because the political dynamics for each country is uniquely complex.

Covid-19 (presumably side effects of human encroachment into wildlife habitat) has hammered the global economy. Governments have been pressured to pump more recovery stimulus into their respective economic engines. Spurring industries to churn for GDP gain, entails the costs of carbon emissions/deforestation.

The cost-benefit calculus is further complicated by the recent power outages. For example, coal-fired power plants were ordered to ramp up at all costs by top brass. Heavy rains and floods (byproducts of global warming) have been hampering these power plants, whereby limiting energy supply for the coming winter in several regions of Mainland. Such circumstances do not bode well for making ecology protection a top national priority. Collective action dilemma and its cyclic cycle ensue.

As discussed in other threads, the tightening of regulatory policies of reigning in land sales to developers, may also align with land preservation commitments for China. The demolitions of villas near Dianchi and projects near XiShan both demonstrate the government’s resolve for change.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Registering foreigners' religious activities

Reuters (a legal and financial consulting service at its core) may be persistent in shinning a not so commendable light on China when opportunities arise, but that doesn’t mean their media reporting are nonfactual, however one wishes to classify them.

Forums > Living in Kunming > Registering foreigners' religious activities

I interpreted @lemonlover’s post as tongue in cheek sarcasm, knowing he wouldn’t miss a beat w/ recent Texas abortion law lobbied by Christian conservatives.

@wayofsun, not dismissing your point entirely. The majority of western-based media are biased in their own ways. They are, first and foremost, a business driven by the bottom line. Nationalism and fear-induced anti-China news contents sell in the West. These days, anything negative about China reaches front page headlines to drive viewership.

At least sites like Reuters and WSJ don’t hold back when attacking their own on home soil, be it the hiccups of Biden, mishaps of allies (Cuomo or Newson), let alone the onslaught of Americans on the far right spectrum.

Can local readers obtain the same level of impartiality and scrutiny of the Party with Xinhua, People’s Daily, CGTN, and their affiliates? Don’t answer, it’s rhetorical.

@jaljal, sorry to hear about the previous miscarriage. Tough ordeal for the mother.

You’re right, said patients shouldn’t be put in recovery beds opposite of those you mentioned. Even one of the highest-end, private OBGYN hospitals in Kunming, Angel Children & Women’s Hospital, resort to open-space recovery stations separated by curtains at best. Perhaps upgrades to VIP quarters would require premium packages.

The lack of patient privacy seems to be a cultural thing in Chinese hospitals overall. Less of an issue for international, private clinics in town. In public hospitals, strangers walk in on your session while eagerly waiting beside you less than a meter away as you speak to your doctor about personal medical issues. More of an issue for women.


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Currently listening to an interesting audiobook called Eat the Buddha: Life and Death in a Tibetan Town by award-winning journalist and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Barbara Demick. Nice read/listen on a rainy Saturday with coffee.

Demick lived in China for seven years. One of the extraordinary (and controversial due to >100 monk immolation) places she visited was a remote Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture county 480km Northwest of Chengdu, Sichuan called Ngawa (aka Ngaba). Demick documents Ngawa people's cultural heritage from a historical context, and how the indigenous conformed to modern day China over the last half century.

Sample listening (part 1 of 11):[...]

BBC Earth, encompassing their "Planet" nature documentary series spanning decades, published their Top 5 "Nature's Oddest Looking Animals" on Youtube yesterday:

Borneo's long-nose proboscis monkeys made it on the list as #4:

#4: The Proboscis Monkey

Ironically, #1 is awarded to "The Monkey With Blue Skin and No Nose." These Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey, or 四川金丝猴 in Chinese, are endemic to Southwest China. If memory serves right, I believe they were once featured here on GoKunming:

#1: The Monkey With Blue Skin and No Nose

Assisting Cambodians is great. Pink elephant in the room is the looming BRI project through Cambodia. All said and done, BRI will increase Chinese tourism and may gradually lift their country out of poverty and help their people at a macro level.

Ishmael, are you not one of the polluting air travelers you so despise?

Correct dolphin. I believe Airbus has recently unveiled concept plane that fly on 30-50% less fuel.

Government policies that back sustainable engineering innovations will nudge markets to greener pastures.

To mind & spirit!


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