Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting China.


The commitments made in China’s Nationally Determined Contribution (2016) focus on enhancing resilience. Key areas targeted include the conservation and efficient use of water resources, improving disaster risk management in coastal areas, improving the zoning of urban areas, improving public health capacity and climate change adaptation in medical services, improving systems of monitoring, early warning, and emergency response, and improving monitoring and climate change impact assessment on biodiversity. Adaptation is already underway in China, both in terms of planned government-led initiatives and unplanned household actions. While precise data is scarce, ADB (2015) reports that several million internal climate migrants may already have relocated, particularly from areas experiencing desertification. Concerns have been raised that climate migrants are simply moving from one exposed location to another. In 2013 China published its National Adaptation Strategy which aims to improve overall adaptive capacity, targets development of regional hubs of adaptation activity, and structures adaptation around thematic areas of urban adaptation, adaptation of ecological systems, and adaptation in agricultural development.

Key Adaptation Policies & Reports

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Breeding of new climate-tolerant crop seed varieties.
  • Agricultural product recycling.
  • Vulnerability assessments of local agricultural communities and systems.
  • Facilitation of shifts away from climate-vulnerable livelihoods.
  • Ecosystem based adaptation aimed at soil regeneration in degraded and desertification areas.
  • Develop early warning systems for health-related climate hazards such as heat waves.
  • Developing capacity in the health sector to manage climate-sensitive health risks.
  • Design of emergency medical plans for climate hazards with implications for human health.
  • Implementing river basin management plans for all river basins.
  • Introducing ecosystem-based flood risk management interventions including in urban areas.
  • Water use efficiency enhancements in irrigation and manufacturing.
  • Develop stronger urban zoning policies and integrate climate change risk considerations into infrastructure decision making.
  • Development of green infrastructure solutions to urban heat island and air pollution issues.
  • Integrate urban areas into basin-scale integrated flood risk management and decision making.

Gaps and Needs

  • China’s Second National Communication to the UNFCCC identifies a number of areas requiring further research, including the scientific basis for climate change, impacts and adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable socio-economic development.
  • Methods and technologies for reconstruction of past climate trends and for integration of multi-scale data.
  • Research into the mechanisms determining climate change impacts in key sectors such as water resources, agriculture, forestry, oceanography, human health, ecosystems, infrastructure, and disaster risk management.
  • Improved ocean monitoring and observation required.
  • Improved coverage and distribution of climate monitoring stations, particularly in rural areas required.
  • Improved data quality standards and consistency of data formats required particularly long-term historical data.
  • Improvements in the coverage and effectiveness of early warning systems.
  • Risk mapping of hazards, exposure and vulnerability at the local level.
  • Climate change adaptation capacity building at multiple governance levels, particularly with regard to monitoring and early warning of extreme events.
  • Specific capacity building at local government level including in the application of new technologies.
  • ADB (2015) identify a need for dedicated climate change funding in budgets.
  • Processes for accessing and disseminating new technologies and technical support.
  • Introduction of climate change risks and projections into technical standards for infrastructure design, operation and maintenance, and requiring climate change risk assessments.