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China Ill-Prepared to Deal With Climate Change: Government Planner


China has been ill-prepared to deal with the significant changes brought about by global warming, according to a government report released on December 9.

This includes a lack of adaptability in key areas such as water management, food, energy availability and the environment, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a new report.

The report describes current water management methods as "insufficient" to deal with scenarios brought about by a changing climate, and called for better design to safeguard water supplies and drainage systems.

The commission said China had been increasingly unable to prevent damage to its water supply from an increase in climate change-related events such as typhoons, drought and floods. The report said the NDRC had deep concerns about the country's apparent lack of adaptability to the problems caused by global warming.

"Our country is a developing nation with a large population, complex climate conditions and a weak environment (situation)," the report said. "Climate change is already a serious threat to food, water, ecological and energy security, and to people's lives and property."

Significantly the report said the water management practiced by the farming sector needs to be adapted to cope with changes. More aid should be allocated to farmers to educate them on better water management techniques, including encouraging farmers to plant crops that use less water.

The NDRC said raising public awareness of the crisis is of paramount importance describing understanding in society of the problems faced by climate change as "weak."

"The mission to deal with climate change is very arduous, but knowledge in society and ability to do this are weak across the board," it said.

The NDRC is an administrative agency under the country's State Council, with responsibility for economic and administrative planning. It is a key body for the implementation of strategies designed to guide the nation's economy.

The NDRC study was unveiled in the wake of the conclusion of the 18th Party Congress' Third Plenum, in which a strategy for the country's continued economic development for the next decade was mapped out.

This story is brought to readers free in association with Singapore International Water Week.