Archive for 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

Climate Change Risk and Response: Droughts as Extreme Weather Events in China

Climate change is leading to an increase in extreme weather events globally. Different communities and different ecosystems are impacted in various ways by these events. The study evaluates the effectiveness of drought response at the level of both the national climate change policy and region specific response. The paper makes use of the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risk of Extreme Events and Disaster to Advance Climate Change Adaption’s (SREX) to create two frameworks: one for determining extreme weather event risk, and one that evaluates the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies. This study contributes to enriching the area specific knowledge of extreme weather event risks, taking into account local conditions. China’s National Climate Change Programme (CNCCP) overall, is adequate in mitigating and adapting to climate change and thus extreme weather events. However it is also found that deficits exist with regard to health related issues, and to urban planning. Finally the paper finds that implementation of the plan appears to be a weak spot: implementation of the CNCCP in the two case studies is too incoherent to conclude that the CNCCP is actually being  followed. Future studies should research the reasons for the policy gap between mitigation plan and implementation. This study illuminates some ways in which developing countries, especially relevant in the China –Africa relationship, can learn from each other; both from successes and mistakes.

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

Environmentally Sustainable Development in the People’s Republic of China: Visions for the Future and the Role of the Asian Development Bank

The rapid pace of growth, the sectoral structure of the economy, the sources of energy used, and increased urbanization are four large-scale drivers behind the complex environmental agenda of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). To improve the quality of the ambient environment, the recently released Macro Strategic Research Report on the PRC’s Environment recognized the need for changing the momentum of the four driving forces, and included visions throughout 2050 for long-term environmentally sustainable development. Revisiting these visions for the future, this paper examines the key elements that the government needs to keep in mind in its efforts toward environmentally sustainable development, and articulates the role that the Asian Development Bank can play in contributing to the government’s environmental agenda in the next decade.

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

Carbon Efficiency, Carbon Reduction Potential, and Economic Development in the People’s Republic of China: A Total Factor Production Model

“Carbon intensity” is the traditional measure of an economy’s carbon performance. However, it is incapable of capturing the multidimensional features of an economy’s carbon performance, particularly when increased emissions have causes other than poor emitting technology, such as changes in the energy mix or the substitution of energy for labor. Hence, it can sometimes be a poor yardstick for comparing countries with different natural resources or factors of production. Introducing the concept of “carbon efficiency,” based on Data Envelopment Analysis, this study calculates the carbon performance in 2005 of 29 regions in the People’s Republic of China with results different from what the carbon intensity indicator would have suggested: Better carbon performance is associated with higher levels of economic development and greater resource endowments.

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

Scaling Up Low-Carbon Technology Deployment: Lessons from China

This report examines how low-carbon technologies have been introduced, adapted, deployed, and diffused in three greenhouse gas-intensive sectors in China: supercritical/ultrasupercritical (SC/USC) coal-fired power generation technology; onshore wind energy technology; and blast furnace top gas recovery turbine (TRT) technology in the steel sector.

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

China’s Environment: Next Steps in Administrative Reform

Released in 2002, WB’s report was prepared to contribute to China’s 2003 government deliberations on state-level administrative reform. This report prioritized upgrading SEPA to ministry-level. This frequently-cited report recommends administrative reforms to strengthen political will and authority for national environmental protection.  We have already seen several recommendations adopted, including (1) stronger political commitment; (2) establishment of SEPA regional supervision office; (3) increased staffing levels; and (4) public participation requirement in the EIA process. Other recommendations not yet adopted include the top recommendation to make SEPA a ministry, enhance cross-sector coordination, ameliorate conflicts of interest between resource utilization and protection agencies, establishing linear authority for SEPA over the EPB system, and intensifying public participation. This report did include next steps, but this agenda is most relevant to the context of 2002.

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

China, the United States, and the Climate Change Challenge

This report discusses the successes and challenges to effective regulation in China. It also addresses U.S. competitiveness concerns in relation to the introduction of U.S. cap-and-trade policies, and specific opportunities for enhanced climate change cooperation between the two countries

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

Climate Change and Poverty

Greenpeace talks to rural villagers in Sichuan and Guangdong province about the impact of extreme weather on their lives.  Over 95% of China’s impoverished rural populations live in areas vulnerable to floods, droughts, and other severe weather events. Climate change will only increase the occurrence and severity of weather events, which will damage villages and destroy crops, making it even more difficult for people to climb out of poverty. It is a tragic truth that those most vulnerable to climate change are also the world’s most impoverished. and a short video can be found here http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/multimedia/videos/climate-energy/climate-change-poverty/

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

Climate Change and China: Technology, Market and Beyond

This occasional paper contributes to the international debate on climate change and the global search for climate justice. The critical UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December 2009 will bring back the focus on the need for a climate governance regime. The complexities of the issues and the requirements of genuine and sustainable solutions are vast. The current financial crisis that is now affecting both developed and developing countries alike is putting additional difficulties in mobilizing political will to come up and implement strategic climate and energy policies that will answer climate, economic, social, energy and security challenges. This paper discusses the impacts of climate change to the environment of China and most especially to the livelihood of Chinese people there. It analyzed the Chinese government’s position and enumerates the measures that China has taken so far, as well as the commitments and concrete targets that it pledged to undertake. It explains China’s stance on the climate change negotiations; its arguments and considerations concerning its role to the international community; and its responsibilities to address its many domestic pressures in relation to geopolitics, the financial crisis, as well as global trade and technology issues.

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

The Contribution of the Commercial Transfer of Technology to Climate Change Mitigation: A Perspective on the Post-Kyoto Mechanisms of Technology Transfer

Case studies of commercial transfer of technologies in Chinese enterprises in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy, examine various ways to accelerate technology transfer through commercial mechanisms. This can be done through public and private sector funding and future global climate policy framework. This allows the establishment of new mechanisms for joint research and development, and encourages concerted efforts in GHG reduction and global climate agreements. This report offers recommendations for policy makers and other relevant experts.  Funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, this study is a joint venture with the Research Energy Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, and the China Renewable Energy Association.

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment

Climate Change and Food Security in China

Climate change has become one of the greatest challenges faced by the human race. It affects almost all aspects of our society, including food supply. Agriculture has long been the foundation of China’s social and economic development. With a large agricultural population and a huge pressure placed on resources, as well as a large production area that features complex topography and distinct patterns of climate, China’s farming industry is very vulnerable to climate change. Against this background, ecological agriculture therefore has its obvious advantages. It is of great importance for the sustainable development of agricultural and national security to determine the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security in the country, and to devise and implement appropriate measures to avoid these problems

1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment