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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.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.11.9-12 Evaluate multiple procedures for making governmental decisions at the local, state, national, and international levels in terms of the civic purposes achieved.
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
      • D2.Civ.6.9-12 Critique relationships among governments, civil societies, and economic markets.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
      • D2.Eco.11.9-12 Use economic indicators to analyze the current and future state of the economy.
      • D2.Eco.13.9-12 Explain why advancements in technology and investments in capital goods and human capital increase economic growth and standards of living.
      • D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
      • D2.Eco.8.9-12 Describe the possible consequences, both intended and unintended, of government policies to improve market outcomes.
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