Beijing: China has been witnessing heatwave-caused droughts, heavy rainfalls, power outages, and supply chain disturbances resulting in a serious impact on China’s economy, owing to anti-environment policies for decades.
Beijing has declared its first drought emergency as heat waves have dried up areas of the Yangtze River, affected power supplies, shut down factories, disrupted crop production, and crippled the supply chain.
These heat waves can turn out more damaging to its economy than the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Dan Wang, chief economist at Hang Seng Bank China, the country’s economy was in “a dire situation” since the heat waves were set to last for another two to three months.
“It will affect those big energy-intensive industries and it will have a knock-on effect throughout the economy and even to the global supply chain,” Wang said, as quoted by Hong Kong Post.
As per the media outlet, Rampant deforestation, unsustainable dams, and uncontrolled carbon emissions over the past few decades disturbed the ecological balance in China.
Now its effects are manifesting through unprecedented extreme high temperatures.
In the past 20 years, China lost 10.9 million hectares of tree cover, which amounted to 6.7 per cent loss of green cover and 4.68Gt of CO2e emissions.
“The rate of deforestation is still very, very significant. When they build new dams, these areas can just be de-protected like that. So even protected areas don’t have strong protection status,” said Alice Hughes, macroecology researcher in the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Post reported.
Meanwhile, China’s national observatory renewed a red alert for high temperatures, the most severe warning in its four-tier warning system, as heatwaves continue in many parts of the country.
Parts of Gansu, Shaanxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Fujian, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Guangdong and Guangxi are expected to experience high temperatures of 35 to 39 degrees Celsius, Xinhua news agency had reported citing the National Meteorological Centre.
China has a four-tier, colour-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
Last week that the Yangtze River basin had the lowest summer rainfall in six decades, an official from the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) said.
Since the beginning of July, the south, central and southwest regions of China have experienced droughts as a result of low precipitation and high temperatures, according to the National Meteorological Centre.
The centre observed that droughts above moderate level now linger in some areas of Jiangsu, Anhui, Hubei, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou, Chongqing, Sichuan and Tibet.