About the Panel Discussion:
Climate change is the defining issue of our time. And when it comes to climate change, no nation is more important than China. In the context of climate responsibility, China´s role is especially central, not least because China now is the world´s largest carbon emitter, responsible for around 28% of global emissions. In the panel discussion, our four distinguished speakers will assess the already implemented policies and discuss whether China's ambitious targets regarding net-zero in fact are convertible. Furthermore, they will elaborate on the role NGO´s are playing and to what extent the politicized climate debate affects the diplomatic relations between the US and China.
Nico Luchsinger has been working with Asia Society Switzerland since its inception in 2016 – as Head of Programming, Co-Executive Director, and since April 2021 as sole Executive Director. A medieval historian by training, he previously worked for Neue Zürcher Zeitung, founded the global entrepreneurial community Sandbox, and ran business development for Swiss Startup Mila.
WWF Switzerland, Chair and Member of the China for a Green Shift Initiative
Ion Karagounis studied Environmental Sciences at the ETH Zurich. After graduating in 1992 with a doctoral thesis on Measures for the Remediation of the Polluted Lake Lugano, he served as managing director of the Swiss Association for Water Protection and Air Hygiene and the Foundation for Practical Environmental Protection Switzerland. Since 2013, Ion has been working with WWF Switzerland and currently serves as Lead New Economic Models Innovation and Socio-Economic Change. Besides, he is Chair and Member of the China for a Green Shift Initiative and is engaged in the China Partner Group. Ion Karagounis has published various articles in Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Tages-Anzeiger.
Senior Lecturer and Director of the Taiwan Studies Project at the University of Zurich
Dr. Simona A. Grano is Senior Lecturer at the University of Zurich and Director of the Taiwan Studies Project at UZH. She completed her Ph.D. in Chinese Studies at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy in 2008. Since then she has held research positions and taught China Studies and Taiwan Studies at her alma mater, at the university of Zurich in Switzerland and at National Cheng'chi University in Taiwan.
Simona Grano is the author of Environmental Governance in Taiwan: a new generation of activists and stakeholders, which has been published in 2015 by Routledge and is currently working on an edited volume titled: International Response to US-China Strategic Competition: neutrality or taking sides, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2022.
Youth Climate Advocate, Co-Lead of the COP26 Global Youth Statement
Hailing from Shanghai and Singapore, Xuan Zi Han studies Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University College London, where he additionally functions as the Executive Director of UCL Climate Action Society. He is a youth climate advocate with the Youth Constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Xuan Zi Han is the Co-Lead of the COP26 Global Youth Statement, a representative and inclusive climate policy document prepared in consultation with more than 40,000 young people from more than 135 countries around the world. He serves as the Regional Youth Focal Point (Eastern and South-Eastern Asia) for the United Nations International Federation of Youth (UNIFY) for Water and Climate.