The following is a detailed outline of China’s policies and actions for addressing climate change:
Climate change in China poses threats to the country’s natural ecosystem, economy and society. China is an active participant in the worldwide effort to sustain climate change. The country observes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as the Kyoto Protocol.
I. Climate Change and China’s Situation
Over the past 30 years China’s coastal zones have seen it’s sea surface temperature and sea level rise by 0.9 degrees Celsius and by 90 mm. Scientific research predicts that climate change in China will further intensify due to the country’s complex climate, large populate, ongoing industrialization, and utilizing coal for energy.
II. Impact of Climate Change on China
Agriculture and Livestock Breeding: Remain adverse. It is likely there will be a drop in the yield of the three major crops, enlarged scope of crop diseases, accelerated potential desertification trend, rising frequency of natural disasters, etc.
Forestry and Other Natural Ecosystems: Increase in the fragility of ecosystems, diminish the rare tree species, enlarge the outbreak scope of forest disease, increase the frequency of forest fires, and damage bio-diversity.
Water Resources: Scientists predict that climate change will have a significant impact on the temporal and spatial distribution of water resources, and intensify water scarcity and contradiction between water supply and demand.
Coastal Zones: Sea level in the coastal zones of China will continue to rise. Sea level rise will undermine the capacity of public drainage facilities in coastal cities, and impair the functions of harbors.
Society, Economy and Other Fields: There will be increased chances of disease, rising possibilities of geological and meteorological disasters, and consequent threats to the security of major projects.
III. Strategies and Objectives for Addressing Climate Change
To address climate change within the framework of sustainable economic development;
To uphold the core principle of the UNFCCC "common but differentiated responsibilities";
To place equal emphasis on both deceleration and adaptation;
To rely on the advancement and innovation of science and technology;
To rely on mass participation and extensive international cooperation;
To enhance basic research, innovation, and public awareness;
To improve management;
To control greenhouse gas emissions.
IV. Policies and Actions to Decelerate Climate Change
Adjust the economic structure to promote the optimizing and upgrading of the industrial structure:
- Limit rapid expansion of industries that consume a large amount of energy and discharge heavy emissions;
- Accelerate the pace of eliminating backward production capacity;
- Make high-tech industry larger and stronger;
- Accelerate the development of the service sector.
Make great efforts to save energy:
- Place energy conservation and emission reduction in a more prominent position;
- Promote energy conservation and emission reduction in key fields;
- Reduce emissions in Agriculture.
- Accelerate the construction of major conservation projects.
Develope renewable energy and optimize energy mix:
- The Law on Renewable Energy and related policies were enacted in 2005;
- China will continue to promote the development of water-power river valleys.
V. Policies and Actions to Adapt to Climate Change
Agriculture: The state has made great efforts to establish and improve a law regime for agriculture, including the Agriculture Law, Grassland Law, Fisheries Law, Law on Land Management, Regulations of Responses to Major Emergent Animal Epidemics, and Regulations on Grassland Fire Prevention. China will further promote agricultural infrastructure, improve the grassland ecosystem, and protect aquatic life resources and the aquatic eco-environment.
Forests and Other Natural Ecosystems: China has been enforcing relevant laws and regulations such as the Forest Law, Law on the Protection of Wildlife, Law on Water and Soil Conservation, Law on Prevention and Control of Desertification, Regulations on Conversion of Farmland to Forests, Forest Fire Prevention Regulations, and Regulations on Forest Diseases and Insect Pest Prevention and Control. China will further strengthen the protection and management of forests and wildlife resources, and restore the functions of eco-fragile areas and ecosystems.
Water Resources: China has developed and enforced laws and regulations that include the Water Law, Flood Control Law, and Regulations on River Administration. China will accelerate the pace of formulating nationwide comprehensive plans for water resources and river basins, drawing up a water allocation plan for major rivers, and is also strengthening study, development and popularization of technologies relating to reuse of wastewater and desalinization of seawater.
Coastal Zones and Coastal Regions: China published the Marine Environment Protection Law, Law on the Use and Administration of Sea Areas, and General System Development Plan for the Air-Sea Interaction. The country will further improve its all-round capability to control and prevent marine disasters in coastal regions, improve the capability of the marine ecosystem and coastal region ecosystem to cope with and adapt to climate change.
Other Fields: China has enhanced its capability of monitoring and issuing early warning during extreme climate events. To counter the expansion of epidemic-infected area caused by climate change, the state will further build up its monitoring and control network, and establish a health-guarantee system, etc.
VI. Enhancing Public Awareness in Addressing Climate Change
In order to disseminate knowledge about climate change through the mass media, China has produced publications, audio-video products, a weather channel, and an information database. China will further enhance education and training in order to better deal with climate change.
VII. Enhancing International Cooperation on Climate Change
China has actively participated and supported the activities of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. China has set up a dialogue and cooperation mechanism on climate change. China energetically impels and participates in technology transfer under the UNFCCC framework.
China attaches importance to the CDM’s active role in facilitating its own sustainable development, and is willing to make contributions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by joining CDM programs. China holds that CDM, as a comparatively effective and successful cooperation mechanism, should continue to be implemented after 2012.
VIII. Institution and Mechanism Building for Coping with Climate Change
The Chinese Government set up special institutions to deal with climate change in 1990, and established the National Coordination Committee on Climate Change (NCCCC) in 1998. In 2007, the National Leading Group to Address Climate Change, headed by the Chinese premier, was set up to draw up strategies, policies, and coordinate the solving of major problems.
In order to facilitate the implementation of the National Plan, governments at all levels set forth to improve industrial, financial, taxation, credit, and investment policies to increase financial input and improve corresponding rules conducive to decelerating and adapting to climate change.
China and the rest of the world face many climate change challenges in the future. The solution demands the joint effort of all countries. China will continuously make new contributions in order to protect their ecosystem, economy, and society from the dangers of climate change.