On October 20, 2021, Heinrich Boell Stiftung (Germany) Beijing Representative Office, in cooperation with the Fujian Normal University's School of Marxism, organized a hybrid online seminar on Climate Change and Carbon Neutrality. About 20 scholars from Fujian Normal University joined the seminar from their campus – European scholars participated online.
This seminar was held against the backdrop of a global appeal for stronger climate actions to achieve the Paris Agreement’s objectives. Despite the announcements made by major economies to peak carbon emission in coming decades, incentives, institutions and tools to materialize concrete changes are still in need of close examination and practical experiences need to be exchanged.
The seminar started with Professor Dieter Birnbacher’s presentation on what constitutes people’s motivation to change their behaviors for future generations’ wellbeing. Lili Fuhr, from Heinrich Boell Stiftung, shared a new discourse to analyze climate politics from the supply side. Professor Gerd Winter introduced the roles played by courts in Germany’s climate policy. And Dr. Marta Antonelli shared how the European legislative framework could help address climate change through sustainable food systems. Scholars from Chinese Universities shared their analysis of central government’s carbon goals and how these goals would be distributed to ensure local implementation.
During the discussion session, participants exchanged questions and follow-up thoughts around specific climate policies and practices in Germany and Europe. As this was the second seminar jointly organized by hbs Beijing and Fujian Normal University, participants remarked that this seminar provided a valuable opportunity – amid the pandemic – to continue academic exchange with European scholars, particularly from interdisciplinary angles.