Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

Fast Action Climate Mitigation Is Urgently Needed to Address China’s Rising Temperatures and Increasing Weather Extremes

May 29, 2023

29 May 2023 — In May 2023, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment released its annual Ecological and Environmental Status Bulletin for 2022 (hereinafter referred as the “Environmental Bulletin”). The Environmental Bulletin provides a comprehensive overview of China’s ecological and environmental quality over the past year. It does so by presenting national and regional data updates and highlighting key policy developments. In February 2023, China’s Meteorological Administration National Climate Center also released its annual China Climate Bulletin for 2022. The Climate Bulletin compiles the latest monitoring data and evaluation information on China’s climate, to support national government climate policy-making and other research needs.

Both the Environmental Bulletin and the Climate Bulletin highlight the climate emergency we are facing. China’s national average temperature in 2022 was the second highest since 1951, while the national average precipitation in 2022 was the lowest since 2021–5% lower than the average precipitation during 1991-2020. Extreme weather events are also becoming more frequent and more severe. In 2022, China experienced the largest number of extreme heat events since 1961. Natural disasters, including droughts and flooding, caused 296 deaths and direct economic losses of over 30 billion USD in 2022. Extreme heat events and severe droughts in China during 2022 also resulted in negative impacts to human health and agricultural yield, and increased energy consumption.

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