China is the world's largest developing country with a large population. It has an imbalanced regional development and is still in the process of industrialization and urbanization. In 2012, China's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded US$6,000, ranking 87th in the world. The current challenges facing China include the task of developing its economy, eradicating poverty and improving the people's livelihoods, as well as actively tackling climate change.
China's climate is complex and its ecological environment is fragile, which makes it very vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Since 2012, China has suffered from frequent extreme weather conditions. Many areas in the south have experienced extremely high temperatures, and there have been increased urban, regional and mountain floods, landslides and mudslides. Many typhoons have hit land at the same time, affecting a broad area. Frequent storm surges have caused great damage. For the past four consecutive years there have been moderate to severe droughts in central and northwestern Yunnan Province, taking a heavy toll on agriculture and people's lives.
The 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, held in November 2012, set forth that in the face of increasing constraints on resources, severe environmental pollution and a deteriorating ecosystem, it is essential to raise our ecological awareness of the need to respect, follow and protect nature. We must prioritize ecological development and incorporate it into the "five in one" arrangement for socialism with Chinese characteristics, which includes economic, political, cultural, and social development, with a focus on promoting green, cyclical and low-carbon development. These actions will increase the strategic position of combating climate change in China's overall economic and social development.
Since 2012, in order to fulfill the country's objectives and tasks in addressing climate change during the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the Chinese government has been accelerating the development of major strategic research and planning and strengthening top-level design, and has taken a series of actions to address climate change, with positive results. China continues to play a positive and constructive role in international climate change negotiations and has pushed for positive outcomes and international dialogues and cooperation at the Doha 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 positive results achieved since 2012.