tirsdag 29. november 2022

Adapting China to extreme weather

Vast swathes of China suffered from unusual weather this summer. Floods, droughts, power shortages, wildfires, heatwaves and heatstroke – the vocabulary of disaster has filled media reports, social networks and daily conversations. Guangdong experienced a once-in-a-century flood. Towns were inundated and hundreds of thousands of people were affected. Widespread high temperatures and drought caused days of power shortages in Sichuan and Chongqing, with factories shut down to safeguard power supplies for households. In Chongqing, ten wildfires broke out in a single week.

On 7 June, before the summer started, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and 16 other government departments published a 2035 National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. This represents the latest guidance on how China will adapt to climate change.

Compared to an earlier version published in 2013, the Strategy gives more thought to adapting China’s social and economic systems, including agriculture, cities and public health. It also considers the ability of sensitive industries to respond to climate change, and the climate resilience of the infrastructure and major engineering projects needed to tackle the current economic slowdown.