Public Policy Bulletin (4th Issue - March 2023)

2 Study Methodology Qi et al. (2021) first examines the meteorological risk governance system and the climate change adaptation system at the national level by focusing on the related agencies' responsibilities, authority, and bureaucratic structures. Second, the paper analyzes climate risk management actions and the climate change adaptation system in China at the city level through three case studies: Beijing’s flood in 2012, Zhengzhou’s flood in 2021, and Qingdao’s “policy bundling” model. Third, the paper offers policy recommendations based on these findings. Findings and Analysis Overview of China's climate risk governance system China’s climate risk governance framework was initially fragmented, lacking departmental coordination and interdepartmental collaboration. Nevertheless, in March 2018, the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) was established to consolidate the functions of emergency rescue, disaster prevention, disaster mitigation, and disaster relief that were previously scattered across many ministries. Moreover, China has developed an extensive operational framework to enhance inter-departmental communication and coordination. The operational framework has integrated six key mechanisms for tackling extreme meteorological and climatic events and managing disaster risks (see Figure 1). Table 2 summarizes the responsibilities of the core coordinating agencies for disaster risk governance. Case Study: The 2012.7.21 flood in Beijing The 2012.7.21 rainstorm in Beijing occurred between July 21 and July 22, 2012. Highways, subways, railways, civil aviation, and other modes of transportation were seriously obstructed. The Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau issued multiple early warnings of rainstorms and geological disasters to the public and relevant government units on July 20 and 21. The Flood Control Headquarters also on July 21 raised the flood control emergency response from Level IV to Level II. Heavy precipitation led to severe flooding, affecting 1,602,000 people and causing economic losses of 11.64 billion yuan as well as casualties. After that 2012.7.21 rainstorm, Beijing reformed its meteorological warning and emergency response systems. For example, the revised Beijing Flood Control Emergency Plan stipulates that, when a red rainfall signal is issued, classes in schools and kindergartens must be suspended, and enterprises and institutions can adjust their schedules. Also, the Beijing Early Warning Information Distribution Center was established to ensure that risk information is communicated effectively and in a timely way. In addition, a special sub-headquarters for road traffic flood control has been created to ensure road safety by carrying out prevention measures and organizing rescue and repair work. The reform has substantially reduced the number of people affected and the economic damage caused by subsequent rainstorms in Beijing. Case Study: The 2021.7.20 flood in Zhengzhou Heavy rain began falling in Zhengzhou on July 17, 2021, and gradually intensified into an extreme regional extreme torrential rain. The earliest weather forecasts regarding the 2021.7.20 rainstorm were delivered on July 17. The Zhengzhou Meteorological Station issued seven red rainstorm signals between July 19 and 21. The Zhengzhou Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters upgraded the flood control emergency response from Level IV to Level I on July 20. The deluge caused severe disruptions of power facilities, hospitals, and transportation. The catastrophic floods in the Zhengzhou Subway Line 5 and the Jingguang Road Tunnel led to serious casualties. The direct economic losses were more than 65 billion yuan. The paper indicates several weaknesses in Zhengzhou city's risk governance system, including inadequate contingency plans for disaster scenarios, poor risk communication with the public, disconnections between meteorological warnings and the activation of emergency responses, limited collaborations between organizations (e.g., between subway companies and transportation authorities), and weak public participation in disaster risk prevention. Also, the unpreparedness revealed that Zhengzhou did not learn from the Beijing experience in Consultation and information sharing mechanism Disaster emergence responses mechanism Social mobiliztion and participation mechanism Disaster relief material reserve mechanism Decision making and command mechanism Accountable mechanism Despite remarkable progress, climate risk governance in China remains an emerging concept. The meteorological risk governance system for tackling sudden extreme weather, e.g., typhoons, rainstorms, and heatwaves, and the climate adaptation governance system for managing incremental risks, e.g., sea level rise and droughts, are not yet effectively integrated. Figure 2 diaplays a tree identifying the institutions involved in climate change adaptation. Public participation in risk reduction remains scarce because of insufficient public awareness of meteorological and climatic risk prevention. Figure 1 Information Sharing and Decision Making in China Strengthening Climate Risk Governance in China: Disaster risk management and climate change adaptation Public Policy BULLETIN