Leading environmental experts have gathered in Beijing to call for public action on climate change. The International Conferenece on Climate Change Communication opens, with the growing recognition that effective communication can be the first step to garner public support.
Climate change is all too familiar to the Chinese public.
They are all too often the victims of extreme weather.
About 93% percent of Chinese said they are aware of climate change in a nationwide poll.
The figure is higher than in the US and UK, with 62% and 75% respectively.
The findings surprised researchers.
"Our public is conscious of the changes around them. Part of the reason is the frequent bad weather in China, another reason I believe is the government’s efforts in communicating with the public."said Zheng Baowei,Director of China Center for Climate Change Committee.
Experts at the inaugural International Conference on Climate Change say they are looking for better means to pass the word from policy makers to the public.
And in the long run, inspire a conscious public to act.
An expert committee was set up during the meeting.
They are expected to boil down the hard technology parts and make it easy for the public to understand.
Some experts believe better communication skills and approach can help governments tip the balance in UN climate talks.
"We want to help the developing countries to start on this kind of research and practice, to ensure that the negotiation at the UN talks more balanced and help developing countries get what they need: finance and tech support."said Wang Binbin, project manager of Oxfam Hong Kong.
Experts say the research on communication methods is important despite China’s top-down policy making system.
"We aim to build a conduit between the government, NGOs, the public and other stakeholders, so that policies are better understood, carried out and monitored. Meanwhile the public will also be more motivated to take part."said Du Xiangwan, Director of National Climate Change Expert Committee.