The 2021 Sino-American Youth Dialogue, focusing on the topic of climate change, was held in Beijing's Tsinghua University on Friday.
Co-hosted by Tsinghua University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the event provided a platform for young people from China and the U.S. to put forward ideas and suggestions for the upcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to address the issues of climate change and sustainable development.
Qiu Yong, president of Tsinghua University, delivered an opening speech via video at the event. Qiu stressed the crucial role of the youth in dealing with climate issues and called on collective efforts in building a more reasonable climate governance system.
"The attitudes and actions of the youth of China and the United States are crucial in the process," Qiu said.
L. Rafael Reif, president of MIT, also spoke through video and reiterated the significance of the youth and expressed the same ardent anticipations for young people of both countries.
As a warm up activity for the COP 26, event organizers in September began inviting Chinese and American students to submit research papers to be presented at the event. The topics included global climate change, carbon emissions peak, and carbon neutrality.
The students' brief oral presentations encouraged young scholars to speak out and enhanced exchanges between the youth of both countries. In addition, nine submissions emerged to win the Outstanding Submission Awards, and six won the Best Presentation Awards.
Friday's event concluded with the two youth delegates of China and the U.S. reading a joint initiative on climate change. Their "Joint Youth Initiative for Climate Response and Biodiversity Protection under Carbon Neutrality Goals" calls for cooperative spirits and urgent actions to achieve green, low-carbon, and sustainable development goals.