Chinese farmer experiencing drought

A Greenpeace report has been included in the Chinese government's most authoritative report regarding the consequences and costs of global warming for China. Conducted by 16 ministries, the 'Second National Assessment Report on Climate Change' covers the nation's most current scientific knowledge regarding global warming, including economic, social and environmental impacts to the country.

In a country where political clout is everything, it's a cheering sign that the government is taking heed of the work and information produced by NGOs like Greenpeace.

"Climate Change and Food Security in China" was a 2008 joint report produced by our climate and energy team, along with our food and agriculture team. It provides a thorough review of climate change and its impact on Chinese agriculture sector.

The report found that with China's large production area featuring complex topography and distinct patterns of climate, the nation's farming industry is thus incredibly vulnerable to climate change. China will lose its self-sufficiency in food production as early as 2030 because of climate change. This disaster can only be averted if the government takes immediate action to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and adopt policies encouraging more climate-friendly ecological agriculture.

Also contributing to the report was Lin Erda from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, the top Chinese expert in the area of agriculture and climate change.

We're pleased as punch that our words are ringing through policy making circles in China's upper echelons. A report from Reuters looks into the 710-page government publication, and quotes Lin Erda:

Global warming fed by greenhouse gases from industry, transport and shifting land-use poses a long-term threat to China's prosperity, health and food output, says the report. With China's economy likely to rival the United States' in size in coming decades, that will trigger wider consequences.

"China faces extremely grim ecological and environmental conditions under the impact of continued global warming and changes to China's regional environment," says the 710-page report, officially published late last year but released for public sale only recently.

"Generally, the observed impacts of climate change on agriculture have been both positive and negative, but mainly negative," Lin Erda, one of the chief authors of the report, told Reuters.

"But steadily, as the temperatures continue to rise, the negative consequences will be increasingly serious," said Lin, an expert on climate change and farming at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

"For a certain length of time, people will be able to adapt, but costs of adaptation will rise, including for agriculture."

Read more at Reuters.

And take a look at our report: "Climate Change and Food Security in China".

Image © Lu Guang / Greenpeace

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