ISSUES2017 No.2
Editor’s Note: No matter whether you recognize it or not, climate change, as a scientific subject, has been studied and proved by the atmospheric scientists of various countries since the 1950s, including the key founder of China’s atmospheric sciences, Tu Changwang, who published a paper in 1961 to elaborate the relationship between global warming and socio-economic development. Meanwhile, climate change, as a political subject, has caught the broad concern of the international community since the 1990s after the United Nations issued the Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, which was signed by more than 150 countries on the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio Brazil in the same year, and came into effect in 1994, followed by another two critical documents, i.e., Kyoto Protocol and Paris Climate Accord which came into effect respectively in 2005 and 2016. Being the signatory country of all these important documents, China has shown the world its role of a responsible developing country for climate change with a series of firm actions in the past decade. Institutionally, the National Steering Group for Climate Change was set up in 2007 as a deliberative and coordinative body at the national level, to study, formulate, and organize the implementation of the strategies, policies and countermeasures for climate change, energy saving, and carbon emission reduction. Strategically, the National Plan for Climate Change of China was issued also in 2007, articulating the objectives, principles, key areas, and countermeasures of China for climate change by the year 2010. Since 2011, in order to call for the consciousness of the whole society on climate change, China has published regularly, in the form of either a white book or an annual report, on its policies and actions to alleviate climate change and adapt to climate change, such as readjusting industrial structure, optimizing energy structure, promoting energy saving and improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emission, increasing carbon sink, popularizing low carbon development, and so on. Most of the policies for climate change concern cities and most of the actions for climate change take place in cities, making climate change an inevitable mission of urban planning. Focusing mainly on the subjects of energy saving and carbon emission, urban planners try to enrich the traditional planning system with the new ideas of climate change, showing their innovations and contributions to facing the challenges of climate change through the research and practice of urban planning and design.

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