‘Re­mark­able achieve­ments made’

China Daily (Canada) - - DEPTH -

years across the globe.”

The Paris agree­ment pro­poses to keep the global mean tem­per­a­ture in­crease to well be­low 2 C above prein­dus­trial lev­els, and to pur­sue ef­forts to limit warm­ing to 1.5 C, to re­duce the re­lated risk and im­pacts.

One area the Chi­nese govern­ment has fo­cused on has been the met­als and min­ing sec­tor, in­clud­ing steel mills, alu­minum and cop­per smelters. In July, it pub­lished a three-year “blue sky de­fense” ac­tion plan aimed at im­prov­ing the coun­try’s air qual­ity.

Liu Si­fang, a se­nior con­sul­tant with global en­ergy group Wood Macken­zie, said, “The govern­ment is at­tach­ing in­creas­ing im­por­tance to en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.”

In­spec­tion groups have been sent to dif­fer­ent re­gions to en­sure in­dus­tries are meet­ing the re­quire­ments to re­duce pol­lu­tion, he said, adding, “More im­por­tant, stricter reg­u­la­tions have been in­tro­duced.”

Liu said ev­ery ma­jor city in China has been as­signed tar­gets to re­duce pol­lu­tion — re­gard­less of the source.

A group of lead­ing sci­en­tists from China and the United King­dom launched a ground­break­ing re­port in Lon­don on Oct 17 to show po­ten­tial worst-case risks of cli­mate change and to en­cour­age politi­cians to in­crease mit­i­ga­tion ef­forts.

The 150-page re­port is the first to high­light some “dis­turb­ing sce­nar­ios” of the im­pact of cli­mate change.

Ye Qi, di­rec­tor of the Brook­ingsTs­inghua Cen­ter for Pub­lic Pol­icy at Ts­inghua Univer­sity, said the re­port is par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant “in bring­ing our at­ten­tion to what kind of im­pact cli­mate change will have on our cities, our econ­omy, our lives and our so­ci­ety as a whole” so that peo­ple glob­ally can bet­ter re­late to the im­por­tance of mit­i­ga­tion work.

The sci­en­tists started to work on the re­port af­ter an agree­ment be­tween the Chi­nese and UK govern­ments was signed dur­ing Pres­i­dent Xi’s visit to the UK in 2015.

The re­port was due to be pre­sented at the Ka­tow­ice con­fer­ence.

The po­ten­tial im­pact on China in­cludes a pos­si­ble three­fold rise in the num­ber of heat waves by the end of the cen­tury, while glacier mass could be re­duced by al­most 70 per­cent, af­fect­ing wa­ter re­source avail­abil­ity in parts of West China, the re­port said.

Bed­ford, from The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy, said China’s eco­nomic growth has been re­mark­able, but with this comes in­creased car­bon diox­ide emis­sions.

“Ris­ing sea lev­els and more ex­treme weather events such as Ty­phoon Mangkhut also put its heav­ily pop­u­lated coast at risk. And there’s pub­lic con­cern on broader en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues such as ur­ban air, wa­ter qual­ity and soil pol­lu­tion,” he said.

Ty­phoon Mangkhut was an ex­tremely pow­er­ful trop­i­cal cy­clone that caused wide­spread dam­age in Guam, the Philip­pines and South China in mid-Septem­ber.

Cli­mate change will put pres­sure on wa­ter sources and in­crease the risk of droughts in China, which in turn will dra­mat­i­cally af­fect crops such as rice, Bed­ford said.

“Be­ing the world’s largest rice pro­ducer and con­sumer, the coun­try has al­ready started to safe­guard its food se­cu­rity,” he said.

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