Climate Change in the Chinese Mind

On October 23, 2023, the Yale Center for Environmental Communication hosted a conversation with Dr. Binbin Wang, a 2023 Yale University World Fellow, Co-Founder of the China Center for Climate Change Communication, and the first person to earn a PhD in climate communication in China. Dr. Wang shared key findings of the latest national public survey on climate change in China. She also discussed the implications of the Chinese public perception of climate change and China’s transforming role in global climate governance. Her talk brought to bear her decade of experience and insights from UN climate negotiations, campaigns at the local, regional, and global levels, and her academic research.

Key Takeaways include:

  • Dr. Wang’s 2022 nationally representative survey of public opinion regarding climate change in China found very high support for action on climate change in the country. Chinese citizens are increasingly willing to take action and learn more about climate solutions. The strong bottom-up support by the people as demonstrated in the public opinion survey provide a firm basis for governmental action on climate change domestically and globally.
  • The framework for climate governance in China is a dynamic combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches. Multiple stakeholders in China have made significant changes in their priorities and systems for implementing climate governance at both domestic and international levels. More new stakeholders are playing constructive roles in the process of climate governance.
  • Information from the media is not the only channel for gaining insights into China. It’s crucial to recognize that the population of China is diverse and can not be represented by a single entity. Overcoming these barriers relies on fostering open and constructive communication and encouraging collaborative efforts.