UNSW Report Mixes Climate Change with Chinese Legal Reform

Chinese children circa 1914 source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A report prepared by the University of New South Wales for UNICEF China is one of the strangest climate documents I have ever read. Much of the document makes sense, it discusses inequality in China caused by outdated internal migration laws which deprive rural people who migrate to Chinese cities of important rights. But the authors attempted to tie this very real concern about unequal legal rights to alleged climate issues.

China’s children left behind by climate change and urbanisation 


A UNSW report considers China’s children affected by migration and climate change, and the necessary social policy reforms required to protect their rights. 

The expansion of protections for China’s migrant and ‘left-behind’ children is essential for the nation’s continued economic and social wellbeing, according to a Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) paper.

The landmark study, commissioned by UNICEF China, examines child rights in China in the context of migration, urbanisation and climate change. It approaches the issue from a human rights perspective and maps systemic changes to promote child protection in the future.

“China is experiencing massive urbanisation and severe environmental challenges such as pollution and local climate change. Cities suffering from heat island effects and extreme weather conditions are becoming much more frequent across the country,” says UNSW SHARP Professor Bingqin Li who led the research.

Rural families migrate to cities voluntarily or involuntarily, temporarily and permanently, she says. “People may move from rural to urban areas as urban employment becomes more attractive, as  farmers’ lands are acquired or as climate change makes agriculture less reliable to sustain livelihoods.

“The research asks: in the context of urbanisation and climate change, what is child vulnerability, what are the factors behind the vulnerability, and what needs to be done to improve the situation?”

Read more: https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/social-affairs/china’s-children-left-behind-climate-change-and-urbanisation

The actual report, well consider the following passage;

Migration, urbanisation, climate change and children in China—issues from a child rights perspective

The 2010 Census data shows that about 35.8 million children (0-17) were migrant children, of whom 17 million lived outside the county where their Hukou was registered in. Another 69.7 million children were left in the villages by their migrant parents. The reason that people move from rural to urban areas is often that urban employment becomes more attractive to the rural population, and farmers’ land being acquired, or climate change making agriculture less reliable. Rural families migrate to cities voluntarily or involuntarily, temporarily or permanently. Some children move with their parents, and others remain in rural areas as ‘left-behind’ children.

Child migration or being “left-behind” as a result of urbanisation and climate change poses serious risks to children’s life, development and wellbeing. It is important for China to offer protection to all children for the wellbeing of children and for the good of society as a whole. A number of important policy measures have improved the lives of migrant and left-behind children, particularly regarding access to, and quality of, healthcare and education. A rights approach can help to identify child issues and provide benchmarks. Further improvements in services and extending welfare coverage are needed to secure the rights of all children.

Understanding of China’s migration trends, particularly those associated with urbanisation and climate change, should be put in the context of economic development for which industrialisation has been the primary driving force. Chart 1 depicts the relationship between migration, urbanisation and climate change from the perspective of industrialisation, which demands for more land and resource supply, and cheap labour. The land demand and environmental consequences of industrialisation also indirectly lead to a further push for urbanisation of different parts of the population, such as peri-urban farmers and eco-migrations and resettlement.

Read more: http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:48337/bin3fa72a28-04c0-488f-8dde-601d1ee47941?view=true&xy=01

I hope China sorts out the gross inequality described by this document. But mixing climate change into a serious discussion of what appears to be a real and pressing issue is just a distraction.

Update (EW): Old engineer points out that between 2008 and 2018 rice production in China rose substantially.

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July 25, 2020 2:16 pm

Simple explanation….. they wanted to get it published.

M Seward
Reply to  markl
July 26, 2020 5:28 am

Standard practice in the climate science publishing world.

I once read a paper about sea level variation to do with the Pacific Oscillation and it was all pretty objective stuff with raw data and graphs etc and normal language … until the last sentence of the last paragraph of the Discussion section whih finished something like ‘ blah blah blah… including effects due to anthropogenic climate change.’

It was so obviou it was there as some sort of search engine hook or had been inserted by the ‘science communication’ overseers at the particular institution or at their suggestion.

July 25, 2020 2:21 pm

An important fact that was made in this brief report, is that what people think is global warming and climate change, is many people really are experiencing the Urban Heat Island affect (UHI). This is an important distinction, since a lot of people in highly populated urban areas, especially without A/C actually are experiencing much higher temperatures, although it is local…less a few % of the planet’s land area. It isn’t so much global warming, as it is urban warming, which is a real thing. It is too bad that the masses don’t understand this important distinction. And not a lot can be done about that, and has nothing to do with CO2 or Methane.

July 25, 2020 3:10 pm

Almost anything is related to climate :

– a recent publication “Why Face Masks Don’t Work: A Revealing Review” (2016) has been removed because climate change :


“If you are looking for “Why Face Masks Don’t Work: A Revealing Review” by John Hardie, BDS, MSc, PhD, FRCDC, it has been removed. The content was published in 2016 and is no longer relevant in our current climate.”

Fortunately, the article can be read here :

Reply to  Petit_Barde
July 25, 2020 3:28 pm

Great catch! Is the “current climate” phrase a Freudian slip, or is there some other word or phrase that describes it better? Malapropism?

Andre Den Tandt
July 25, 2020 3:38 pm

Perhaps one could add a key to the keyboard that simply adds “and of course climate change” to every sentence.

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
Reply to  Andre Den Tandt
July 25, 2020 3:44 pm

Just write a macro in MS Word for a find and replace.

The grammar checker could be made Climate-SJW compliant for a more permanent solution. Even put in send report function for reporting to Big Brother anyone who doesn’t use the approved Social-Climate Justice phrases.

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
July 25, 2020 3:39 pm

Looking for some of that Climate Aid money the Manchurian Barry was doling out in 2016 no doubt. Possibly Dementia Joe and his Democratic-Marxist Party comrades in Congress next year will turn that money spigot back on. So the early bird gets the worm stuff, and all that. Or “Get your hand in the till first”, if you prefer.

old engineer
July 25, 2020 3:58 pm


Thanks for an interesting post. It looks like everything the U.N. produces has to follow the CAGW meme. The line that I found particularly interesting was:

‘The reason that people move from rural to urban areas is often that urban employment becomes more attractive to the rural population, and farmers’ land being acquired, or climate change making agriculture less reliable.”

Climate change making agriculture less reliable? Really? A quick google check of “rice production in China” found that between 2008 and 2018 rice production in China went from 191.9 to 212.13 million metric tons. see:


Less reliable agriculture? Not what the data says.

Reply to  old engineer
July 25, 2020 5:17 pm

I wonder if the increasing CO2 concentration had anything to do with that…

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  old engineer
July 25, 2020 8:45 pm

Old engineer
I was going to make that comment, glad I read yours.
If agricultural production is up everywhere every year shouldn’t these authors realize this?

Just a garbage statement picked out of thin air to try and make themselves sound hip.

Reply to  old engineer
July 26, 2020 5:55 am

presently the nth and west of china is in drought still with locusts ruining corn etc
meanwhile the nth and east are in deep water and crops livestock and facories towns etc are swimming in feet of water
more coming and 3 gorges is apparntly on constant release mode
dykes being opened all over the place to release ater flooding yet more homes .land
severely nasty for the poor/farmers basically everyone but th govt darlings with money and places to escape to
those inland ghost cities might be useful about now…if? theyre not flooded also
nothings going to save the massive food shortgages looming fast
and remember
all the drug excipients ppe etc come from chinas flood zones.

Reply to  old engineer
July 26, 2020 8:08 am

Actually the reasons that people have been able to move from rural to urban areas are the amazing improvements in agriculture and transportation. Without those the cities would starve.

The agricultural surplus allows many people to work at jobs previously unknown or very scarce, increasing the wealth of society far beyond what a majority farming society can provide. Most of those jobs are in cities because they require a range and density of skills, and a market size, that a small rural community typically cannot provide.

Historically, civilizations have flourished during warm periods, and withered or died during cold ones, depending on if they could or could not support a large non-farming population. When they could not, especially if that was a sudden change, the resulting war, famine and pestilence merely hastened the decline.

Our technology has accelerated this trend to the cities by improving agriculture and transportation, and even lessened the divide between city and country compared to earlier civilizations. But in general all of the wealth of a society ultimately derives from its agricultural capabilities and the cities it can support. That has oscillated many times due largely to climate.

July 25, 2020 4:27 pm

It is always the omnipotent climate change. See the Al Jazeera video in this UPI report. Some serious internal migration in store for China, I believe.

Reply to  Windsong
July 25, 2020 5:33 pm

This motorcyclist just misses getting buried in a land slide.


July 25, 2020 4:37 pm

Australian university publishing a study of children affected by migration?

Where is the data? Apparently there is not any.
Making it propaganda, not research.

Reply to  ATheoK
July 26, 2020 6:00 am

say no more
at best print for loopaper

Geoff S(@sherro1)
July 25, 2020 4:53 pm

Imagine how readers here, many from USA and Oz, would feel if Chinese academics wrote reports like these about our countries. What a cheek.
Again, I am disgusted by what parts of Astralian universities are doing. There has to be some separation, with different people at the top, of the commercial money making functions like mass degrees to foreign students versus the academic/research functions that were the original purpose of the first University entities.
The present paper falls in the first category. It is more advertising than research.

David Chappell
Reply to  Geoff S
July 25, 2020 9:27 pm

Um…”UNSW SHARP Professor Bingqin Li who led the research”. Looks like a Chinese academic to me and indeed one from China.
“As a migrant herself, Associate Professor Bingqin Li is no stranger to the difficulties of living and working away from home.” – though I doubt those difficulties quite match those of the urban migrants in China

William Astley
July 25, 2020 4:57 pm

The UN are lost corrupt followers who live in a bubble. Their science is phony/fake. And their articles are filled with Mumbo Jumbo to hide what they are doing. Drones who are good at getting all they can from their governments.

This an update on the Three Gorges Dam issue. There is record serious flooding in China. And there is more flooding on the way.

The Three Gorges Dam water level was at 160 meters, 15 meters above the dam normal high operating level of 145 meters, last Saturday which is a record.

The overflow level of the dam is 175 meters.

The Three Gorges dam did deform. Dam operator, however, expectedly stated deformation normal and the dam will return to it is normal profile later.


China’s ministry of water resources said at 8 p.m. Wednesday a key section of the Yangtze River and other areas had risen above flood level. The ministry also said 93 rivers have exceeded their flood limit levels and that they are monitoring the Three Gorges reservoir, located in the upstream part of the Yangtze River.

China’s ministry of emergency management said this week more than 4,500 people in Jiangxi, Anhui, Hubei and other provinces have been displaced due to floods, and at least 35,000 homes have collapsed, bringing direct damage close to $23 billion.


China admits Three Gorges Dam ‘deformed’ by flood
On Saturday, China’s state-run mouthpiece Xinhua reported that the “No. 2 Flood” of 2020 had formed on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River on July 17. When the massive flood impacted the Three Gorges Dam, the inflow reached 61,000 cubic meters per second by 8 a.m. on July 18, marking the biggest flood to hit the dam this year.

When the flood arrived, the state-run outlet claimed that the Three gorges Hydropower-Complex Project “operated safely and smoothly.” By 11 a.m., a Xinhua reporter claimed to witness the dam opening three lower flood gates, resulting in “huge streams of water gushing out.”


Chinese State Media Killer Flood Waters Are Like ‘Naughty Kids Who Want to Go Out

Reply to  William Astley
July 25, 2020 5:49 pm
William Astley
Reply to  Scissor
July 25, 2020 6:29 pm

Park the Three Gorges Dam question. Time will tell.

What do think China’s reaction will be? To the Australian official UN comment, that China’s south sea land grab is illegal.

China has painted themselves into a box, with their South Sea land grab. Really, really waiting someone’s else’s offshore resources does not make them China’s.

China acts as if law and order/logic does not apply to China. China lost their case, in the world court.

China has been threatening US companies in the US who were doing business with Vietnam in the ‘China’ South Sea. That is apparently the reason why the US closed the Chinese Houston embassy.

• 8 hours ago


Australia says Beijing No Legal Basis claims have no legal basis

Australia has formally rejected China’s territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea, aligning itself more closely with the US as tensions rise.

In a declaration to the United Nations, Australia said the claims, which take in the majority of the sea, had “no legal basis”. China has not reacted.

It comes after the US called some of China’s actions in the area “unlawful”.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  William Astley
July 25, 2020 8:22 pm

The U.S. may have to sink a couple of those commie artificial islands.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2020 9:00 pm

Tom, we may not need to; some are sinking on their own according to published reports earlier this year. But some of these bases appear very formidable, and there are a bunch of them.

Reply to  William Astley
July 26, 2020 5:59 am

theyre after the RE minerals on the seafloor around there.
not much to do with protectig thir shipping really
second pipeline of oil from Rusia completed rcently i gather
rest of eu can ship to atlantic side of ua if they have to n vice versa

pretty dumb idea to make the islands an piss everyone off local n elsewhere

Tom Abbott
July 25, 2020 8:15 pm

From the article: “or [Human-caused] climate change making agriculture less reliable.”

There is no evidence this is happening anywhere in the world because there is no evidence that Human-caused climate change is real.

July 25, 2020 8:33 pm

Unfortunately, the Philippines, who won that case at the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) in 2016 doesn’t want to challenge Red China and Chairman Xi, by President Rodrigo Duterte who his Xi’s new best friend forever. The Philippines won that case hands down by a previous Gov’t, and China is also a signatory to UNCLOS but won’t accept the decision and is claiming nearly all the resources of the South China Sea, including much of the claimant ASEAN countries Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Totally criminal what is going on there. Vietnam has a little more spunk when dealing with China, in their East Vietnam Sea, although China is pushing their weight around there too. The Philippines has rolled over and playing dead in their West Philippine Sea. China’s 9 Dash line is partly why this is happening because it is called the South China Sea, and the Chinese people actually believe it is theirs historically which is completely false. Many of the ASEAN countries refuse to call it the South China Sea anymore. And neither should we.

It is heavily suspected that Presidenti Duterte is the kingpin drug trafficker of Shabu (Meth) into the Philippines and possibly elsewhere, which China has supplied him and has a lot of dirt on him from the days when he was Mayor of Davao City and assisted in getting him elected in 2016. He has also cancelled a lot of his competition in the drug markets, usually low level dealers that don’t or won’t work for his criminal enterprise, or the competitions drug addicts, now up to 30,000 people who are no longer alive. Duterte is a real dirt bag, and it’s too bad his own military won’t taken him out, although he doubled their salary, including the National Police. So he will probably survive unless he has an ‘accident’.

The USA exiting the Philippines with the military bases was a disaster in hindsight, (after Mount Pinatubo erupted) and Obama also backed down in 2014 at Scarborough Shoal, 60 miles off the coast of Luzon when the Philippines and China had a bit of a spitting match, and China promised to leave and then didn’t. They also promised they wouldn’t militarize their other 7 artificial islands. So Obama facilitated this, with his so called Pivot To Asia. China is considering building their 8th artificial island at Scarborough Shoal, just 60 miles off the coast from Luzon, where the capitol Manila is. They won’t while Trump is President, but if the Democrats get in, SE Asia is probably lost as Senile Creepy Joe has also been bought off by China. To think we fought Japan in SE Asia for much the same reasons, it would be a historical mistake to allow China free reign and terror of SE Asia. President Trump is the only ‘solution’ to Red China and their aspirations on the entire world.


Ed Zuiderwijk
July 26, 2020 2:14 am

Those of a catholic background are well aware of a peculiarity in the proclamation of the creed, the ‘Credo’. It’s about the the life of the son of Man but it also figures the name of a Roman magistrate, Pontius Pilate. However he has nothing to do with the creed. Therefore the catholics of my youth would say of something oddly out of place to be ‘like Pilate in the Credo’. Here, it applies to ‘climate change’.

July 26, 2020 5:01 pm
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