We’re Unprepared for Climate Change and Its Consequences – China

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | December 10, 2013 4:21 PM EST

In what seemed like a rare show of humility, China has flatly admitted the subject matter of climate change was not something it prepared for as it zealously worked to rise to become one of the leading economic powers of the world today.

While the country worked to push towards progress and economic supremacy, it failed to consider the any potential and possible ill-effects, China's economic planning agency said.

Smoke billows out of the towers of the coal-powered Kosovo Power Plant A in Obilic, near Pristina December 5, 2013. Kosovo and the European Union started Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) negotiations in October, an important step in Kosovo's European integration process. But Kosovo's air quality still widely exceeds the European Union standards, with high levels of pollution from increased traffic flows and two old power generating plants, Power Plant A and Power Plant B, which emit a high level of dust particles. The European Commission, quoting a 2012 World Bank report, said air pollution in Kosovo causes 835 premature deaths, 310 new cases of chronic bronchitis and 11,600 emergency visits each year. Picture taken December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Hazir Reka

"Our country is a developing nation with a large population, complex climate conditions and a weak environment (situation)," the National Development and Reform Commission said in a report.

"Climate change is already a serious threat to food, water, ecological and energy security, and to people's lives and property," it added.

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

Last week, the country faced another deluge of smog pollution in at least 104 cities in 20 provinces.

Read: Smog Envelops China Anew

Even as it acknowledged government's efforts to curb the rising ill effects of climate change the country had so imposed on its territory and citizens, these wont be enough.

"Although our work at dealing with climate change has achieved some successes, basic abilities have yet to be raised up, and there are many weak links in our work," the economic planning agency said.

"In the future the rising trend of temperatures will become even more obvious, there will be even more unfavourable impacts (from climate change), and if effective measures are not taken the losses from disasters caused by extreme weather will be even more serious," the agency added.

Already, China has started to observe and witness more droughts in the northern region. It noticed typhoons have arrived earlier than routinary. Wetlands have been drying up, and worse, the surrounding sea levels are rising.

Since it was unprepared for natural disasters, it naturally failed to protect basic infrastructure, including power and water supplies.

In its five-year plan, China will endeavour to address the problem it created itself by outlining new policies that aid to reduce coal dependency as well as to push forward more the use of renewable energy.

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