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Hongqiao Liu


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Economics, Civics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 9 minutes, 8 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



Downloadable MP4/M4V

Can China Achieve Its Ambitious Climate Pledges?

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  • In this Ted Talk, journalist and policy advisor Hongqiao Liu explains China's historical and current rate of carbon emissions, China's recent climate pledges, and the sources of carbon emissions in China that must be addressed. 
  • Students will learn about the feasibility of China meeting the ambitious pledge of becoming a net-zero country by 2060. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video will help students see the nuances of the energy and emissions situations in China. 
  • A full transcript is available in 11 languages.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with China's political, demographic, and economic situation. 


  • Social studies or civics classes could compare China's climate goals to the United States' climate pledges. Students could discuss how the two governments have different ways of monitoring, implementing, or encouraging changes in the energy sector.
  • As a media literacy activity, students could discuss how Hongqiao Liu, as an independent journalist, gives a balanced report concerning China's emissions goals. In small groups, students could discuss how impartial news reports help people to understand both the positive and the negative elements of news stories.
  • Other resources on this topic include this article and video on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, this climate action tracker that tracks countries' emissions targets, and this ClimateScience course on climate politics.
Scientist Notes
This 9-minute TED Talk presents an overview of China's climate goals out to 2060. This resource discusses issues related to China's population, energy generation sources, and industries, and China's objectives for carbon neutrality and emission reductions. As many of the topics discussed in this resource are goals and targets, it is not possible to do fact-checking, but this resource could be a good tool for understanding what climate pledges look like and assessing their probability of success. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

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    • World History: Global Studies - Economics, Innovation, and Technology
      • 6.2.12.EconET.3.a: Determine how, and the extent to which, scientific and technological changes, transportation, and new forms of energy brought about social, economic, and cultural changes in the world.
      • 6.2.12.EconGE.5.a: Evaluate the role of the petroleum industry in world politics, the global economy, and the environment.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
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