According to a new policy statement, climate change is putting China’s economy and society at danger, and the nation has to develop adaption systems and monitoring skills at all levels of government.

“Climate change has already brought serious adverse impacts to China’s natural ecological system, and has continued to spread and penetrate into economy and society,” the government said in its national climate change adaptation plan, which was released late Monday.

Climate change not only posed long-term issues, but also increased China’s vulnerability to “sudden and extreme” disasters. The statement said that transmissible illnesses, pests, and severe weather were also a growing threat to public health.

Vegetation belts have also migrated northward, and China must take effort to “optimise” its agricultural and transition to higher-yielding, stress-resistant crops, according to the report.

According to the paper, the government plans to modernize its climate-related catastrophe prevention systems and lower the economy’s and natural ecosystems’ vulnerabilities.

China will also strive to develop a countrywide climate impact and risk assessment system by 2035, and big projects will be required to include climate into environmental impact assessments. It will also improve its early warning systems.

Melting permafrost, receding glaciers, and growing ice lakes have already affected water supplies, and increasing coastal sea levels have increased flooding hazards, according to the paper.

It said that it will increase surveillance at rivers and lakes in order to enhance flood management and water supply security. In addition, it would change water tariffs and establish binding usage goals in important locations. It seeks to reduce water intensity (the quantity utilized per unit of economic development) by 16% between 2021 and 2025.

China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, has pledged to peak greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

However, the country’s climate obligations have come under international scrutiny as it attempts to strike a balance between economic development and decarbonization of its coal-heavy energy sector.

Source: Reuters

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