China Just Took An Important — And Incredibly Adorable — Step To Combat Climate Change

Their latest and greatest green energy initiative is panda-powered.

In a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, Panda Green Energy Group, an investor and operator focusing on photovoltaic power plants in China, is living up to its name with the cutest solar plant the country — and the world — has ever seen.

The joint global promotion program of panda-shaped solar plants launched on September 1, 2016, with its first solar station in Datong city officially connected to the grid on July 6, 2017.   

Each 50 MW solar plant celebrates China's national treasure, the Giant Panda, featuring monocrystalline silicone to provide the black parts of the body and thin film solar cells for the grey and white. 

Covering a total area of 248 adorable acres, each solar plant "represent[s] a unique opportunity to take action against climate change," according to a statement from UNDP China on November 20, 2016, the day they first broke ground on the project. 

In 2014, China was the largest contributor to climate change, contributing 30 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.  This new initiative, however, not only helps the country meet its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but was "designed to promote public consciousness about environmental-friendly technologies... as well as to encourage youth participation in innovation for social good."  

By increasing youth participation in the solar plant initiative, the partners aim to promote and popularize continued environment and economic sustainability. The UNDP and China Merchants New Energy (Panda Green Energy Group's the largest shareholder) will collaborate on summer camps and open innovation design contests"to engage the youth of China and assist in developing the future leaders in the green energy field." 

In doing so, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China Patrick Haverman believes in the ability of private sector partners the lead on alternative energy to combat climate change — now, and for generations to come. "To achieve these universal, bolder, and more transformative Goals, we need leadership, commitment, talent, and innovation to drive their implementation," he said in a statement. 

Whatever form that leadership, commitment, talent, and innovation takes in the future, it's already pretty darn cute. 

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