In China, the scientific community and the government are working together to tackle climate change

A desert landscape in the northern Chinese province of Ningxia.
The ACCC project is combating desertification in the northern Chinese province of Ningxia. © SDC ©

The SDC is applying the latest scientific methods to help China understand the effects of climate change and to design and implement adaptation measures. The "Adapting to Climate Change in China" project combines scientific research with policymaking. The goal is to integrate climate adaptation into development processes.

Región/País Tema Período Presupuesto
Cambio climático y medio ambiente
Conservación de energía y eficacia
Environmental policy
01.07.2014 - 31.12.2021
CHF  6’003’780

Because of the enormous size of its population and its complex climatic, environmental and social conditions, China is affected by climate change in multiple ways. The challenge is to tackle these impacts, including higher average temperatures, reduced precipitation and more frequent extreme weather events.

  • Improve scientific understanding of climate change and ensure better access to this knowledge.
  • Assess risks associated with the impacts of climate change and conduct risk analyses; integrate risk analyses in national and local adaptation and development plans.
  • Transfer of information and knowledge to raise people's awareness of the effects of climate change and enable them to cope with them.
Grupos destinarios

The Chinese population, Chinese scientists and Chinese decision makers responsible for addressing climate change issues

Efectos a medio plazo
  • Scientific climate change adaptation instruments have been developed.
  • Provincial-level adaptation strategies have been developed with the participation of key decision makers and the scientific community.
  • Decision makers in developing countries benefit from the experiences of the ACCC.

Resultados de las fases anteriores:  

Chinese scientists and decision makers were brought to the table to tackle climate change. The project thereby contributed to the formulation of China's National Adaptation Strategy, which was published in 2013.

Dirección / Officina Federal responsable COSUDE
Crédito Cooperación al desarrollo
Contrapartes del proyecto Contraparte del contrato
ONG internacional o extranjera

Presupuesto Fase en curso Presupuesto suizo CHF    6’003’780 Presupuesto actual suizo ya emitido CHF    5’369’570 Total del proyecto desde la primera fase Presupuesto inclusive contrapartes del proyecto CHF   16’000’000
Fases del proyecto Fase 2 01.07.2014 - 31.12.2021   (Fase en curso) Fase 1 01.06.2009 - 31.12.2014   (Completed)

The effects of climate change are felt both locally and globally. Because climate change impacts both individuals and entire societies, adaptations at the local and global levels are necessary. This is particularly evident in China, a country that spans several climatic zones, from the tropical monsoon climate of the south to the coniferous forest climate in the north-east. People in some regions of China suffer from water scarcity while those who live in other regions have to contend with flooding. Climate change represents major challenges for China, not least with respect to food and water security.

First result: national adaptation strategy

In order to strengthen China's resilience to the negative effects of climate change, the SDC is supporting the "Adapting to Climate Change in China" (ACCC) project. Since its launch in 2009, the ACCC project has brought Chinese scientists and decision makers to the table to tackle issues related to climate change. The project thereby made a significant contribution to the development of China's National Adaptation Strategy (NAS), which was published in November 2013. In addition, risk analyses pertaining to agriculture, water resources, extreme weather events and health have been conducted. Among other findings, these analyses show, first, that higher yields can be expected from the cultivation of maize in the south-west of the country than in the east, where declining harvests are highly likely and, second, that declining rice yields are also to be expected owing to an increased frequency of extreme weather events. The ACCC project has developed adaptation measures based on these findings.

The project focuses on priority areas that are especially strongly affected by climate change:

  • Combating desertification
  • Agriculture
  • Pasture farming and livestock production
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Coastal zone management

ACCC is active nationally and in six northern and southern provinces and municipalities of China: Ningxia, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Jilin, Jiangxi, Guizhou and Qingdao. The project is identifying and initiating appropriate measures in each of these areas to address the effects of climate change on the development of the provinces.

Transfer of knowledge via international networks

The project makes the lessons, results and experiences garnered as widely available as possible, for example through international networks and direct contacts with other countries in Asia and Africa. ACCC gathers international and Chinese expertise to meet the challenge of climate change adaptation. These experiences were presented at two high-level international conferences, the United Nations climate change conferences in Warsaw (CoP 19) and in Lima (CoP 21).