Written by Sarah Rogers.
While China’s climate change mitigation efforts (its pilot emissions trading schemes and investment in renewable energy) are widely discussed, its adaptation efforts receive far less attention. Yet China is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and will need to take action to manage these risks. Some of the observed and projected impacts as outlined in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (Working Group II) are the exacerbation of water scarcity in North China, changes to crop productivity, increased flood risk, more frequent and intense heatwaves, and changes in the geographical distribution of vector-borne diseases. Glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau are retreating rapidly, while sea-level rise threatens Shanghai’s drinking water. China’s agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable as it faces a range of climate change impacts compounded by existing environmental (and social) problems. In managing the impacts of climate change on agriculture to ensure food security and to protect the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers, China faces two key challenges. Continue reading “Adapting to Climate Change in Rural China”