‘Remarkable achievements made’
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.