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China promises to better adapt to climate change as the stakes rise

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English -  Climate change is putting China's economy and society at danger, according to a new policy statemen...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - Climate change is putting China's economy and society at danger, according to a new policy statement, and the country needs to develop adaption systems and monitoring capacities at all levels of government.

"Climate change has already had major negative effects on China's natural ecological system, and it has continued to spread and permeate into the economy and society," the government wrote in its national climate change adaptation strategy, which was released late Monday.

Climate change has made China more vulnerable to "sudden and intense" disasters, as well as long-term issues. The study also stated that transmissible illnesses, pests, and extreme weather were all becoming more of a threat to public health.

The vegetation belts have also shifted northwards, and China needs to "optimise" its agricultural by switching to higher-yielding, more stress-resistant crops, according to the report.

According to the text, the government will modernise its climate-related catastrophe prevention systems and lower the economy's and natural ecosystems' vulnerabilities.

By 2035, China plans to establish a nationwide climate impact and risk assessment system, and major projects will be required to integrate climate in environmental impact assessments. It will also improve its early-warning systems.

Water supplies have already been affected by melting permafrost, retreating glaciers, and growing ice lakes, and increasing coastal sea levels have increased flooding hazards, according to the paper.

It stated that it would increase river and lake monitoring in order to improve flood management and water supply security. Water prices will be reformed, and binding consumption targets will be imposed in critical districts. Over the year 2021-2025, it seeks to reduce water intensity (the amount of water consumed per unit of economic growth) by 16 percent.

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

However, as it strives to strike a balance between continuing economic growth and decarbonizing its coal-heavy energy system, the country's climate obligations have come under international scrutiny.

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