China joins India in the climate challenge - target Net-Zero university campus

“We are all fighting a global war against our common enemy, which is the climate crisis,” said Dr Rajendra Shende

May 01, 2024
Message from China’s First Astronaut

India and China may be politically at odds, and the news headlines may be dominated by the "border tension" and "military standoff", but on the environmental front, there is welcome convergence. 

To accelerate the global movement of Net-Zero (carbon-neutral) university campuses, Li Qinglong, the first astronaut of China and the skill-building instructor of China’s space heroes, has announced his support for the ambitious Network of Universities established by Green TERRE Foundation of India, called Smart Campus Cloud Network (SCCN). He encouraged Operation Earth, China’s not-for-profit Organisation to be the hub of Net-Zero universities in China.

The alliance between two civil society organizations in India and China, Green TERRE Foundation of India  and Operation Earth of China will promote through network practical activities in the university campuses to make the campus Net-Zero along with research and development projects leading to Net-Zero

Dr Rajendra Shende

“We are all fighting a global war against our common enemy, which is the climate crisis,” said Dr Rajendra Shende, founder director, of Green TERRE Foundation and Chairman of the International Advisory Council of Operation Earth China while announcing the alliance. 

“From space, the Earth is so beautiful. It is our only but fragile home. We must protect her beauty and the ecosystem we rely on for survival. Therefore, I am thrilled to support the joint initiative of India's Green TERRE Foundation's SCCN program and China's Operation Earth, Climate Action. Young college students are the main force in developing and utilizing cutting-edge aerospace technologies, including space technologies like space seed breeding, to address climate change and food security issues. University students from China and India should work together to protect the beautiful Earth!’, said Li Qinglong.

China has pledged to the United Nations that it would be carbon neutral by 2060. India has pledged to the United Nations that it would become carbon neutral by 2070.

“Both India and China countries are separated by mighty Himalaya. But the Himalaya is a symbol of unity. We are united by our common desire to address climate challenge by forming university to university alliance on Net Zero Campus,” said Chen Liangzhong, founder of Operation Earth China and Advisor to Green TERRE Foundation.

The 21st Century will be the Asian century with  India and China in front to lead the green growth for the benefit of the planet and people. Operation Earth and Green TERRE Foundation, both not-for-profit organizations, therefore believe that tomorrow’s youth are climate warriors. They can achieve the Net Zero campus much earlier and at the same time build their green skills to inspire and assist others in the sectors like clean energy, Shende said. 

Under the alliance, the network of universities would digitally exchange information on their progress of efforts to make campus Net-Zero. They would undertake pilot projects on emerging technologies related to climate-resilient and climate-friendly practices. Smart Campus Cloud Network (SCCN) is a global network of universities that encourage the implementation of SDGs on the campus and thereby build the green skills in them to make them SDG-ready.

SDG7 and SDG 13 are specific to climate change and hence Net-Zero Campus are their priorities. Nearly 500 universities and higher educational institutes from 12 countries, including China, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, UAE, Egypt, Portugal and Spain are the members of the Network that have begun the implementation of SDGs and Net-Zero in their campuses.

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