What is possible, what is imaginable? Stories about low carbon life in China

From 2014-2015 I was member of a research project of Lund University’s Pufendorf Institute ‘Sustainable Welfare’. We concluded the project with the volume Sustainability and the Political Economy of Welfare edited by Max Koch and Oksana Mont and recently published by Routledge. In one of the chapters that I was co-authoring (“What is possible, what is imaginable? Stories about low carbon life in China” by Erin Kennedy and Annika Pissin) I used Chinese children’s blogs to find out what children learned at school and at home about carbon emission and what they could contribute to lessen it. We juxtaposed those blog entries with statements from World Café discussions with university students organized by Erin Kennedy in Shanghai. Through these sources, we explored the current discourse among youth on environmental issues such as climate change and carbon emissions and point out that understanding how today’s youth envision their future can be helpful when developing more innovative and adaptive methods for achieving China’s reduced carbon emissions goals by 2030. In terms of research concerning ICT, this chapter was interesting because of the combination of interviews/ World Café discussions with written sources by children in the internet. We thus found correlations between what the young students believed can be done with regard to CO2 emissions and smog in cities and what elementary school children wrote about it; the children’s blogs were also good material to juxtapose with statements about similar topics from children in other parts of the world.

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