Climate Chronicles: Shanghai’s Changing Seasons and Our Unsettled World

by Grace Hu

Growing up in Shanghai, I’ve witnessed the city’s climate evolve, marking the passage of time with distinct seasons. However, recent events have stirred a disquiet within me, a sensation that extends beyond the local weather patterns.

On my recent birthday, Shanghai experienced an unusual heatwave, with temperatures soaring to a historic high of 30 degrees Celsius in November. This anomaly isn’t merely a meteorological quirk; it’s a symptom of a larger, unsettling global trend. As I scan headlines, I find the world preoccupied with various issues, from global conferences like CIIE(China International Import Expo) to economic struggles, celebrity gossip, and conflicts. Amid this cacophony, discussions about climate change are notably absent, except in fleeting mentions of extreme weather events, devoid of context.

This absence speaks volumes about our societal priorities. Climate change, the most significant challenge humanity faces, often takes a back seat in our collective consciousness. The urgency of the issue is lost amidst the noise of everyday life. As the world becomes busier, mental health issues rise, and social inequality widens, our focus on sustainable development becomes increasingly vital.

Amidst this chaotic backdrop, CIIE’s repeated emphasis on “win-win cooperation” stands out. While it captures the essence of economic collaboration, it also embodies the spirit of sustainable development. Yet, our approach to sustainable practices often remains half-hearted. There’s a prevalent misconception that embracing sustainability equates to sacrificing enjoyment and comfort. In reality, sustainable development doesn’t hinder our pleasures; it ensures a future where our enjoyment isn’t eclipsed by environmental crises.

So, what can we do in the face of this challenge? Here are some thoughts:

Educate and Advocate

Raise awareness about climate change and sustainable practices. Knowledge empowers communities to demand change from governments and corporations.

Individual Responsibility 

Embrace eco-friendly habits. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Op for sustainable products. Small changes in our daily lives collectively make a significant impact.

Support Renewable Energy

Advocate for and invest in renewable energy sources. Transitioning to clean energy is pivotal in curbing climate change.

Community Engagement

Engage with local communities. Support and participate in environmental initiatives. Community-driven efforts create lasting change.

Corporate Accountability

Hold corporations accountable for their environmental impact. Support businesses that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices.

Policy Advocacy

Support policies and lawmakers committed to climate action. Collective voices can influence governmental decisions.

Innovation and Research

Invest in and support innovative solutions for climate change. Technological advancements play a crucial role in addressing environmental challenges.

Sustainable development isn’t merely a choice; it’s a necessity. It’s not a hindrance to our progress but a catalyst for a better future. Just as CIIE outlines a prosperous path through collaboration, sustainable development charts a course toward enduring global wellbeing.

In the face of our changing climate and a fragmented world, understanding sustainable development is imperative. It’s not just an economic need; it’s a fundamental requirement for the survival and prosperity of humankind. 

Building on our recent exploration of climate challenges and sustainable cooperation at CIIE, it’s crucial for international schools to adopt proactive strategies. Sustainable development isn’t just a global concern; it’s an urgent educational imperative. 

At Leading Your International School, we bridge the gap between awareness and action. With our expertise, your school can seamlessly integrate sustainable practices, empowering students and enriching their global perspective. Together, let’s transform these challenges into opportunities, cultivating a generation of responsible global citizens.

Together, let’s pioneer a future where every student graduates not just with knowledge but with a deep-rooted understanding of their role in creating a sustainable world. Let’s rewrite the narrative, where sustainable living becomes synonymous with a life well-lived, and our actions today sculpt a thriving tomorrow.

In unity for a sustainable future.

If you have a story to tell about how your school is embracing the challenges of the transition to sustainability, please share it with LYIS by emailing it to

To learn more about our LYIS Sustainability Audit, Sustainability Solutions and ESG Solutions, go to

Grace Hu is the Global Head of International School Sustainability at Leading Your International School.

To connect with Grace on LinkedIn, click Here

If you are considering becoming an International School Principal, then why not sign up for our course in January – ‘Becoming an International School Principal’.

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