This year marks China Dialogue’s 14th birthday and we are thrilled to be celebrating with the launch of our dazzling new website.
Readers will find content easier to discover with better search, new tags and a streamlined range of topics. It’s now possible to explore the website by different types of content, including photo galleries, podcasts and explainers. We’ve made it easier to browse articles in editorial series, and to find great articles on our other websites: The Third Pole, Diálogo Chino and China Dialogue Ocean.
In most other respects, however, this year has offered little cause for celebration as the pandemic played havoc with critical plans for the diplomatic effort required to restore and protect the environment. In 2020, China was to host the important conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the UK to host the climate conference (COP26) at which parties to the Paris Agreement were expected to bring much greater ambition to the table. In addition, key decisions on fossil fuel subsidies, maritime conservation, ocean governance and seabed mining were to be taken. These plans have been disrupted by the global pandemic, but the urgency of the planetary crisis and the need to progress have not diminished.
The pandemic has had, and will continue to have, severe effects on every aspect of life, but there are valuable lessons embedded in this experience:
We have learned that failing to protect nature can have terrible consequences – and if we do not learn that lesson properly this will not be the last zoonotic pandemic.
We have learned that, when the threat is big enough, we are collectively capable of taking action far more radical than we would have previously imagined.
We have also learned that people are themselves willing to change, and to support radical change, if they share the understanding of the threat.
And we have learned that we ignore the need for resilience at our peril – our systems are fragile and can be disrupted and destroyed by something that is too small to see, but deadly in its effects.
These lessons are immensely valuable as we look at what is required to avoid a climate catastrophe and a collapse of the natural systems that sustain us.
We are fortunate that we have the technologies to support the energy transition, that we understand the value and importance of ecosystem services, that we also understand that even the most necessary transitions can be painful for some and that it is important that they be fair. Little of that was true when China Dialogue launched in 2006. Collectively we have made progress, and we have more clarity today about what still needs to be done.
Cooperation flourishes when all parties have a clear – and preferably shared – appreciation of the facts. China Dialogue helps to create that by reporting and analysing the policy dilemmas, scientific and technological developments essential to progress on climate mitigation, as well as the ecosystem restoration and conservation essential to the health of the natural world.
Our extensive archive with nearly a decade and a half of climate and environmental content will remain free to access
We launched on the premise that China was key to the climate future and that cooperation between China and the world was essential to contain dangerous climate change. As China’s economy – and global emissions – have continued to grow, so has the need for cooperation become ever more urgent.
The website has a new look, but readers can be assured that our extensive archive with nearly a decade and a half of climate and environmental content, in Chinese and English, will remain free to access. We will continue to offer unique insights, analysis and reporting to shed light on the issues, policies and practices that will determine the future of the global climate and with it the future of humanity.
China Dialogue will continue to offer leading edge thinking, analysis and insight into these complex issues, analysing obstacles, exploring solutions and celebrating progress. Our new website will allow us to offer more compelling multimedia storytelling and dynamic new content.
We look forward to continuing this journey with you, our readers, wherever you may be.