CPPCC member: China to continue addressing climate change with shared plans
"More heat, more drought, more unwelcome extreme weather events… and they will come more frequently."
That's the unsettling forecast that Zhang Xingying, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and deputy head of the Department of Science, Technology and Climate Change of the China Meteorological Administration, shared with a CGTN reporter during this political season.
"So many are asking me whether or not last year's record-shattering heat will happen again this year," he said.
China experienced the hottest summer and autumn in over 60 years, or since records began, in 2022. Large parts of China were affected by drought.
"Though scientifically we cannot tell if it will come this summer, what we can tell is that if the world maintains its current level of carbon emission, it's very likely that those once-every-50-years extreme heat events will come every two years," he said, expressing his worry.
That alarming forecast is also behind his proposal this year.
Zhang proposed making climate-change-proof urban adaptation plans, which include changing building standards to withstand more extreme weather conditions.
"Cities are more vulnerable in the face of climate change as more people come to gather," he said, and urban landscape has fewer resources to adjust to extreme conditions, especially those not thought of or unprepared for.
Zhang also said China sits on a "vulnerable belt" for climate change impacts, and is more susceptible to possible extreme weather events.
That understanding is part of the reason why he now sits on a new CPPCC focus group, which was established this year to center on environment and natural resources.
Such sectorial adjustments reflect China's resolution in going with green development, environmental protection and actively coping with climate change, Zhang said, adding that it shows how green development is of unwavering importance to China's development strategy.
"We will do our best to contribute both China's knowledge of the global issue and China's plans to addressing the issue," he added.
China has been making adjustments for climate change early on and will continue to do so, Zhang said.
He cited the first National Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation published 10 years ago in 2013 and China's national plan on how to cope with the changes, including action plans for key area responses in 2014.
"We've also continued to work with the international community, including promoting the South-South cooperation in adapting to climate change," he said, adding that China has been an active contributor in the global effort.
For example, China's Fengyun satellites have assisted countries in need of disaster monitoring and weather alerts, helping countries to prepare for extreme events.
Respect and protection of nature and a harmonious bond with nature are part of Chinese modernization, he said, expressing hope that the whole world will work together in proactively protecting Mother Earth.