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ICE is hosting the World Federation of Engineering Organizations’ (WFEO) Committee on Engineering and the Environment from 2019 to 2023. As part of a new blog series, committee members provide a snapshot of climate change impacts and solutions in their part of the world. To kick off, Professor Jianping Wu of Beijing’s Tsinghua University and his colleagues, Jing He and Xiaodong Guan, survey the scene in China.
To kick off the WFEO Climate Stories blog series, Professor Jianping Wu of Tsinghua University and his colleagues Jing He and Xiaodong Guan give some insight into climate change in China.
China’s overall goal is to “have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060”, President Xi Jinping said in an address to the UN General Assembly in September last year.
In recent years, China has implemented a series of activities and a national strategy to tackle climate change, including reducing industrial practices that create pollution, boosting the use of clean energy, saving energy and improving efficiency, promoting the construction of a carbon market, and increasing forests which can act as carbon-storing sinks. It has participated positively in global climate governance, upholding multilateralism, as well as fulfilling its obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.
China is implementing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)’s South-South Cooperation on climate change and is mobilising stronger support for international cooperation on the issue through the BRI International Green Development Coalition and other platforms. [BRI is a strategy that seeks to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks. The South-South Cooperation is a framework for collaboration between developing countries in the South.]
In our opinion, engineering can help to provide technologies to reduce carbon emissions and develop new forms of energy. Ways it could do so include:
These should be concentrated on high-quality monitoring and observation, especially in vulnerable areas, so that engineers can limit the potential impact of climate change. Improving the accuracy of climate models, especially concerning their regional scaling, predictions for the next 10 to 30 years and for extreme weather events, is also a priority. The climate is changing. How, and how much it changes is of huge importance to policy-makers. Engineers can make reliable scientific assessments on climate change characteristics, such as atmosphere, ocean and land surface, to ensure policy-making meets the requirements of economic and social development.
For further information about ICE’s response to the net zero agenda, learn more about The Carbon Project.
Additionally, ICE's 13th Brunel International Lecture Series will explore how the engineering community can deliver a carbon-neutral and resilient society by mid-century
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