Beijing to Counter Weather-Related Losses With New Strategy

Dec 11th, 2013 | By | Category: China, Development and Climate Change, Financing, Health and Climate Change, News, Weather

CC04N0011H_2013資料照片_N71_copy1Want China Times: China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and several ministries have jointly completed the country’s first national strategy to adapt to extreme weather, which has caused an average annual losses of over 200 billion yuan (US$32.9 billion) and casualties of more than 2,000 people a year, according to the Shanghai-based National Business Daily, citing NDRC figures.

In the strategy announced on Dec. 9, Beijing will establish a thorough mechanism, complete a legal system for adaptation to climate changes, develop a comprehensive evaluation index system for adaptation capability, and set up a sound management system to provide necessary supervision and evaluation.

“It’s not enough just to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. What should be done is to adapt to climate changes,” said Jiang Kejun, a researcher at the NDRC’s Energy Research Institute. In the past, China mostly targeted a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, but the new strategy shows that its adaption to climate changes will be implemented across the board.

China has suffered an average annual loss from extreme weather of more than 200 billion yuan (US$32.9 billion) since the 1990s, with deaths of over 2,000 people a year, the NDRC said.

Adaptation to climate change is a response that seeks to reduce the vulnerability of biological systems to the effects of global warming.

Jiang said that on previous attempts, China focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but it lacked a legal system, management system and supervision mechanism to adapt to climate changes. Adaptation to climate changes means that for example, how to adapt to the change if temperature rises, and to cope with corresponding rise in sea level, the government should build the dam, he said.

The NDRC statement showed that the nation has previously lacked the funds to invest in the changes, its infrastructure construction has been insufficient in meeting demand, while its protection of the ecological system also needs to be strengthened.

As China’s first plan to cope with extreme weather, the strategy is very significant for the country’s future, said Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the NDRC. The strategy rules that the government should expand its financial and taxation support to adaptation to climate changes, guaranteeing reliable funding for related measures.

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