China is starting to ramp up its preparedness for drought, floods, typhoons, dust storms, heat waves and other extreme weather events as part of a 10-year national plan for responding to potential impacts of climate change, the London Guardian reported March 31. New regulations will establish a legal framework for disaster response, risk assessment, evacuation measures, and public education. As China moves forward to take a leading position with clean energy technology, will it also take the lead in adaptive preparedness strategy? They don’t appear to be following the advice of those who would de-couple clean energy advocacy from a focus on climate science and climate change impacts.
This is something U.S. policymakers, planners, and climate science and policy advocates will need to learn more about and pay attention to.
From the Guardian (excerpt):
Country invests heavily in warning systems and infrastructure to tackle effects of extreme temperatures, typhoons, fog and storms
Jonathan Watts, Asia environment correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 31 March 2010 15.13 BST
China will tomorrow start ramping up preparations for typhoons, dust storms and other extreme weather disasters as part of a 10-year plan to predict and prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
Improved warning systems, new emergency drills and bolstered infrastructure will form the backbone of the new regulations, which are the country’s most advanced measures yet to deal with natural disaster.
China has a long history of devastating floods and droughts, but officials said the problems were intensifying.
“It is necessary to respond to the new situation under climate change to avoid and mitigate the losses caused by meteorological disasters,” said Gao Fengtao, deputy director of the state council’s legislative affairs office, as he unveiled the new policy.
In recent years, he said, disasters were characterised by “sudden occurrence, wider variety, greater intensity and higher frequency in the context of global warming”.
Officials warned this posed a threat to human life and a huge challenge to China’s sustainable development.
Zheng Guoguang, head of China’s meteorological administration, said natural disasters caused economic losses each year of up to 300bn yuan (£29bn), equivalent to about 2% of the country’s gross domestic product.
He cited the unusually severe snow storms that engulfed southern China in 2008 and the worst drought in a century that is now afflicting Yunnan, Guangxi and Sichuan provinces. …
Officials said the move was part of a 10-year national plan that clarified the government’s response to climate change and stipulated what measures regional and local governments should take in terms of infrastructure investment, reporting mechanisms and disaster drills. …