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

Abstract 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.
Author Harrie Esterhuyse, October 2012
1 Energy and Climate, 1.4 Climate Change and Environment