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China Backpedals On Climate Commitments

China has taken a step back from emission reduction commitments amid the energy crunch that caused factory closures and power rationing.

In a statement, Premier Li Keqiang said that the stable supply of energy must be the foundation of any transition to a less emission-intensive future.

“Energy security should be the premise on which a modern energy system is built, and the capacity for energy self-supply should be enhanced,” Li said as quoted by Bloomberg.

Based on this, Beijing now plans to make sure that its goal to reach peak emissions by 2030 and a net zero emission status by 2060 will be pursued in a “sound and well-paced” manner.

Last month, the International Energy Agency estimated that China was on track to achieve its peak emission target before its own deadline in 2030 thanks to its latest efforts in this respect. The IEA also said, as quoted by Argus, that China could become a net-zero economy before 2060.

This, however, was before the energy crunch caused a shortage that immediately boosted China’s demand for fossil fuels, like Europe’s. The Financial Times reported earlier this week that factory owners in China were buying diesel generators to keep their businesses going as the government imposed power rationing because of the shortage.

The demand for oil, coal, and gas is likely to remain strong, based on the Chinese Premier’s statement. In it, Li also said that economic development took priority because it “holds the key to solving all its problems.” To that end, China will continue building its production capacity in all three fossil fuels, the Premier also said.

Li also spoke against power rationing, saying the government was working to “keep homes in the north warm and safe this winter, and ensure the stability of industrial and supply chains and sustained, steady economic development.”

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Godfree Roberts on October 12 2021 said:
    China's economy is growing faster than ever in the country's history just as Beijing launches a new climate initiative–and Winter has arrived.

    This is a blip.

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