World Affairs – Environment
Open Eyes Opinion
The Hour for Individual Action is Upon Us, Says Chinese Film Star
19 March 2016
To mark Earth Hour Li Bingbing appeals for individuals to change the way they live to avoid perils of climate change.
As the ancient Chinese saying goes, no ocean forms without streams. As people all over the world get ready to switch off their lights for an hour, one of China’s most famous film stars has issued a heartfelt plea for the world to heed these wise words and to realise that individual action can bring profound change.
As the world marks Earth Hour, people will switch off their lights for an hour to raise awareness about the perils of climate change.
Chinese actress and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Li Bingbing called on people all over the planet to make small changes to the way they live in order to combat climate change and the perils of a booming global population in an article published by China Daily.
It is vital that people make “wise choices”about how they consume if humanity is to tackle these problems, the influential actress said as the world prepares to mark Earth Hour today.
Eating less meat, installing energy efficient light bulbs, using public transport and reducing the amount of food thrown away are just a few simple things people can do to improve the environment, said Bingbing.
“Each day here in China we face the consequences of failing to make these simple, educated choices: we are reminded of this failure every time the government issues a smog alert and every time our children can’t go to school because of the harmful pollution in our air. For our health and well being, the cost of failing to act is as damaging as the smog that shrouds our cities,”she added.
“We must realise that making the world a better place isn’t just about switching off our lights for a short time. It’s about changing the way we live; it’s about changing the way we consume so that the billions of decisions we make collectively don’t destroy the planet but help to protect it instead,”says Bingbing.
Numerous studies back up Bingbing’s belief that simple, wise decisions can have a major impact on the health of the planet. For example, a global switch to energy efficient lighting would reduce CO2 emissions by 580 million tonnes every year, the equivalent to emissions from 138 coal-fired power stations.
Encouragingly, the world witnessed a surge in green energy investments in 2014, according to a report released last year by UNEP.
Major expansion of solar installations in China and Japan and record investments in offshore wind projects in Europe helped propel global 2014 investments in renewable energy to $270 billion, a 17% surge from the 2013 figure of $232 billion, the report found.
Another striking feature of the report was the rapid expansion of renewables in developing countries, where investments jumped 36% to $131.3 billion.
[photo credits-featured image: Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan, China: Pearl Shoals Waterfalls – By Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32696913]
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