China is one of the countries most vulnerable to the adverse impact of climate change. Starting in 2011, the country has been hit by a string of extreme weather and climate events, including the low-temperature freezing rain and snow in south China, spring and summer droughts in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, rainstorms and floods in the south, typhoons in coastal areas, autumn rains in western China and serious waterlogging in Beijing. These weather and climate disasters have impacted China's economic and social development as well as people's lives and property in a large degree. In 2011 alone, natural disasters affected 430 million people and caused direct economic losses of 309.6 billion yuan.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of climate change. In 2011, the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National People's Congress approved the Outline of the 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development, which defines the objectives, tasks and general framework for China's economic and social development during the 12th Five-Year Plan period. The Outline underlines the importance of climate change and integrates measures for addressing it into the country's mid-term and long-term plans for economic and social development. It sets binding targets to reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 16 percent, cut CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 17 percent, and raise the proportion of non-fossil fuels in the overall primary energy mix to 11.4 percent. It defines the objectives, tasks and policy orientation of China's response to climate change over the next five years and identifies key tasks, including controlling greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change, and strengthening international cooperation.
To fulfill the country's objectives and tasks in addressing climate change during the 12th Five-Year Plan period and promote green and low-carbon development, the State Council has issued a number of important policy documents, including the Work Plan for Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions During the 12th Five-Year Plan Period and the Comprehensive Work Plan for Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction During the 12th Five-Year Plan Period, to strengthen planning and guidance in addressing climate change. Relevant departments and local governments have actively addressed climate change and made remarkable progress in this regard. China continues to play a positive and constructive role in international climate change negotiations and pushed for positive outcomes at the Durban Climate Change Conference, thereby making a significant contribution to addressing global climate change.
This annual report has been issued to enable all parties to fully understand China's actions and policies on climate change, and to set out the positive results achieved since 2011.