Report: China reverses rapid growth of carbon dioxide emissions

China has continued to advance its efforts to tackle climate change since 2018, and adopted a series of policies and measures to control greenhouse gas emissions and reduce carbon intensity, said Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of Ecology and Environment at a press conference on Wednesday.

According to an annual report on China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change released at the press conference, China's carbon emission intensity dropped by 45.8 percent in 2018 compared with 2005, maintaining a continuous decline. Moreover, this figure has reached the commitment of reducing carbon emission intensity by 40-45 percent in 2020 compared with 2005 ahead of schedule, basically reversing the situation of rapid growth of greenhouse gas emissions.

"In 2018, carbon intensity dropped by about four percent year-on-year, exceeding 0.1 percentage point than the annual target, and 45.8 percent lower than that in 2005, equivalent of China cutting 5.26 billion tons of carbon dioxide," said Zhao, saying this shows the effectiveness of China's efforts to promote a green, circular and low-carbon development.

Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of Ecology and Environment. /SCIO Photo

Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of Ecology and Environment. /SCIO Photo

Starting from 2009, China issues the report every year. This year's report covers eight aspects, including climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, planning of systems and mechanisms, basic capacity, broad social participation, active involvement in international climate change governance, enhanced international exchanges and cooperation, and basic position and proposition of COP 25, which fully reflects China's progress in addressing climate change since 2018 and the effectiveness of China's active response to climate change.

China will firmly implement the strategy of coping with climate change, promote the development of green low-carbon transformation, effectively control greenhouse gas emissions, take the initiative to adapt to climate change impacts, and actively participate in global climate governance.

The COP 25 is drawing near, and "China will continue to play a constructive role, uphold the institutional framework of multilateralism and fully support the positive outcome of the congress," Zhao stressed.

Human health newly added in report

People walk amid scorching summer heat in Tokyo's Ginza district on July 29, 2019. /VCG Photo

People walk amid scorching summer heat in Tokyo's Ginza district on July 29, 2019. /VCG Photo

This year's annual report added a new section regarding human health in tackling climate change.

Zhao said tackling climate change will have a profound impact on humanity, not only on the natural environment, but also directly on human health through the natural environment.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to human health. "We are trying to enhance the public service ability and management level of adapting to climate change, promote health monitoring, investigation and risk assessment system and standard system," the vice minister said.

China is taking concrete measures for that, such as enhancing research on climate change related disease prevention and control, monitoring epidemic dynamics and influencing factors, formulating public health emergency plans and rescue mechanisms, and establishing early warning system for heat waves and health risks.

"The impact on human health reflects the global and long-term impacts of climate change, which are closely related to social well-being and the people," said Zhao. "We still need to strengthen relevant research, and meanwhile to work together with the international community to strengthen action on climate change and reduce its adverse effects."