Chinese NGOs actively use the media to raise public awareness about climate change.

Climate change represents one of the major pressing issues of our time and which requires urgent response on the national and international level. It is no longer possible to ignore the negative consequences of global warming on the planet nor it is acceptable anymore to pretend that the catastrophes such as hurricanes or droughts are not the results of a changing weather. In the chapter, “The Development of NGOs in China: A Case Study on their Involvement with Climate Change”, the author Zhixiong Huang examines the development of the role of Chinese Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the climate change field. In fact, Chinese NGOs have started focusing on climate change issues just recently. There are several types of Chinese NGOs dealing with this matter ranging from environmental to industrial and development NGOs. The first type is mainly concerned with the environmental aspect of the issue; the second tried to protect the industrial interests while resisting all the evidence presented at first about global warming and the necessity of eliminating fossil fuels and finally the third takes into consideration economic and social factors that are intrinsically linked to the environmental one when discussing climate change. Chinese NGOs seeking to tackle this global problem had to do so while taking into account the policies of the Chinese government. In other words, they had to label themselves at first as energy saving organizations or even used other labels when the government had a hostile or a more suspicious attitude toward this topic. However, things started to change in the mid 2000s when the government altered its position on this topic and since then the influence of Chinese NGOs increased gradually. Yet, Chinese NGOs work with the government and try to provide constructive suggestions to the competent authorities in order to be able to effectively influence climate policies at the governmental level. And in return, officials have publicly acknowledged the important role played by these NGOs in this sphere. Nevertheless, Chinese NGOs dealing with climate change issues are facing real limitations due to the fact that the latters lack the experience as well as the scientific knowledge that is extremely complex to really make an influence and convince Chinese citizens to adopt a more climate friendly behavior. Not to mention that this lack of resources is also creating an obstacle when dealing with the government, as there is a need to provide the necessary facts based on scientific studies to be able even to just have a discussion about a specific policy. To cope with that, these NGOs has forged alliance on the national level to exchange knowledge associated with this topic. It also established connections with international NGOs dealing with climate change such as Green Peace which helped these organizations managing the lack of funding and expertise. And indeed, the influence of Chinese NGOs on this topic can be already seen with the successful use of the media to diffuse their message. These NGOs have also managed very effective campaigns which resulted in shifting official policies several times.