China is preparing its first plan to battle wrenching climate change, a senior policy adviser said, stressing rising alarm about global warming in a nation where economic growth has gone untethered.
Zou Ji, a climate policy expert at the People's University of China in Beijing, told Reuters the national programme will probably set broad goals for emissions and coping with changing weather patterns.
It is likely to be released this year after at least two years of preparation and bureaucratic bargaining, he said.
The plan showed that China was joining deepening global alarm that greenhouse gases from factories, power plants and vehicles are lifting average temperatures and will seriously, perhaps calamitously, alter the world's climate, said Zou.
"All this shows that the Chinese government is paying more and more attention to this issue," he said. "When it's approved and issued it will be China's first official, comprehensive document on climate change."
Last week a U.N. panel of scientists warned that human activity is almost certainly behind global warming.
The expert group gave a "best estimate" that temperatures would rise by between 1.8 and 4.0 Celsius (3.2 and 7.8 Fahrenheit) in the 21st century, bringing more droughts, heatwaves and a rise in sea levels that could continue for over 1,000 years even if greenhouse gas emissions are capped.