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China supports developing nations on climate change


BEIJING, Dec 8 – While promoting climate adaptation at home, China will continue to support other developing nations to adapt to the climate crisis, said Zhao Yingmin, vice-minister of ecology and environment.

Zhao, also head of the Chinese delegation to the COP28 United Nations climate change conference, made the remarks during a sideline event held at the China pavilion at the annual UN gathering on Wednesday.

The frequent extreme weather events caused by climate change have resulted in increasingly greater damage in China and around the world, he stressed.

Roughly 3 billion people across the globe are now in a highly fragile environment because of global warming, the vice-minister said, quoting a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN body that assesses the science related to climate change.

The annual economic loss caused by climate change has reached roughly $380 million, compared with $49 million half a century ago, he said.

In China, about 283 million people were affected by meteorological disasters every year from 2004 to 2022, he said. On average, these disasters annually resulted in a direct economic loss of 310 billion yuan ($43.3 billion).

In an effort to cope with the problem, China made public the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2035 in June last year, making arrangements for climate adaptation in key sectors, he said.

Since then, many regions have hammered out regional climate adaptation plans, with some of them already published, he noted.

In a move to enhance cities’ capabilities for climate adaptation, Zhao said, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment with another seven government bodies published a guideline in August on carrying out pilot programs for building climate-resilient cities.

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The ministry is still selecting pilot cities, he added.

In the face of the urgent climate crisis, all parties must carry out immediate actions to adapt in a comprehensive manner to minimize the impacts and losses the crisis has caused, he said.

“In fact, developing nations are confronted with even greater impacts from climate change. They urgently need to ramp up their capabilities on climate adaptation,” he said.

The vice-minister said China has always proactively supported other developing nations to enhance their climate adaptation capabilities.

Aside from providing aid with a remote-sensing microsatellite for Ethiopia, China has donated mobile data receiving and processing systems for environmental and meteorological satellites to Bolivia, Uruguay and Botswana, he said.

He said China has also provided early warning training programs for meteorological and disaster monitoring for over 100 officials and technicians from more than 20 countries.

China and the World Meteorological Organization also signed an agreement in April, he said, in response to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ Early Warning for All Initiative. The two sides will jointly develop early warning projects under South-South climate cooperation.

“Under the framework of South-South climate cooperation, China will continue to aid small island states, least developed countries and African nations to beef up their capability on addressing the climate crisis,” he said.

Since its launch, the Early Warning for All Initiative has made significant progress, said Abdulla Ahmed Al Mandous, president of the World Meteorological Organization.

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“However, there are still many challenges to overcome,” he said.

One of the challenges is to ensure that early warning systems can meet the specific needs of different communities, he said. The session at the China pavilion will give us a great opportunity to learn the practices and experiences of China in climate adaptation, he said.

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