Sun Qingwei has been the coal campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia since 2011. From 2003 to 2010, he was an associate professor and an assistant professor in the Chinese Academy of Sciences; his research interests are drylands environments, water resources and climate change. He received a Ph.D. from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Physical Geography and a Bachelor’s degree from Lanzhou University in Physical Geography. He grew up in a coal miner's family.