Hannah Ryder offers optimistic insights into China's role in climate change

In a warm talk with YGS delegates, the Head of Policy and Partnerships for UNDP China also emphasized the importance of sustainable development

The Yenching Global Symposium welcomed Hannah Ryder, Head of Policy and Partnerships for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China. Delegates interested in the work of the UN, and in particular, the UNDP, had the opportunity to attend a lunch session with Ryder prior to her talk, “Combating Climate Change in China”. During the session, delegates introduced themselves and shared their interests, thoughts and questions on the work of UNDP in China. Ryder imparted her professional and personal experiences in an informal atmosphere, giving lucid answers to the questions of our eager delegates.

In the Climate Change talk that immediately followed, Ryder opened the discussion highlighting the primary ways in which the UN supports China with its development and environmental goals. She noted the UN’s role in supporting China in terms of its global role and cooperation with other countries. “China is trying to take action,” she said. “China is trying to make a difference, particularly because it will bring domestic benefits as well.” Ryder talked about China’s impact on global emissions, its contribution to knowledge sharing for developing countries and the importance of working with China on Climate Change.

With respect to the role of UNDP in this process, Mrs. Ryder mentioned a number of key points, including, supporting China with delivering on its development commitments in by addressing “implementation challenges”. She also highlighted the role of UNDP in connecting China’s experience to that of other developing countries with the aim of leapfrogging similar development challenges

During a one-on-one interview following the talk on climate change, Mrs. Ryder expressed her willingness to interact with Yenching Scholars in the future by giving talks in the Academy. She also mentioned that she is very impressed by the diversity of YCA, both in terms of nationalities represented by the scholars and educational backgrounds. Impressed by the extensive aptitude demonstrated by the YGS delegates and Yenching Scholars, Ryder gave them two advices: “Keep your options open and grab opportunities”, she said. “And know your stuff”, emphasising the value of having substantive knowledge to support your efforts.