Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, says climate change in China is a microcosm of the changes taking place throughout the entire planet. The changes that have already been felt, or predicted, in China include:
At least 300,000 people in northwest China were in short of drinking water in February 2007 due to unseasonably warm weather, which officials linked to global warming. Parts of Shaanxi Province saw a little as 10 percent of average rainfall.
The distribution of China's water resources has shifted due to climate change.
It is predicted that coastal cities worldwide, including Shanghai, will be threatened by rising sea levels due to global warming.
According to a scenario by the International Energy Agency, the total global energy demand will grow by 60 percent by 2030.
In the period up to 2030, the energy supply infrastructure worldwide will require a total investment of US$20 trillion, with about half of that in developing countries. China alone would need to invest about US$3.7 trillion or 18.5 percent of the world total.
De Boer says in order to minimize or prevent future climate-related disasters environmentally sound technologies and energy efficiency are part of an overall approach to maintain sustainable development and reduce vulnerability to climate change.
The way in which global energy needs are met will determine whether climate change will be manageable and whether emissions will go down by the required 50 percent by 2050 instead of up by 50 percent, says de Boer.
(China Daily May 5, 2008)