The Chinese government has prepared an official national plan to improve the country's ability to respond to climate change, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planning body. The report is the government's first formal policy response to the National Assessment Report on Climate Change, released last December, and will be approved and issued later this year.

“The national plan has significant meaning to serve as a fundamental policy base for Chinese policymakers to deal with global climate change,” said Ji Zou, a professor at the Environmental School of People’s University of China in Beijing. Rising temperatures in China have accelerated the release of the national climate change strategy.

On February 5, Beijing hit 16 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature ever recorded on this date in the city’s 160 years of recordkeeping. Yong Luo, vice director of Beijing Climate Center, noted that from December to early February, the average temperature in China was 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than normal, while the country’s northeast has experienced the warmest winter in the past half century.

According to the recent National Assessment Report, climate change will raise agricultural water demands in China as well as expand the gap in water supplies among regions. The cost and investment in agriculture is expected to increase enormously to adjust to changes in production conditions.