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Chinese premier Li Keqiang
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Beijing strives to balance security and decarbonisation

The ongoing global energy crunch underlines the difficult task facing China’s leaders in balancing energy supply security while reaching net zero in the next 40 years

The extensive power cuts in China have roiled industry over the past two months and come amid energy shortfalls in Europe, India, Pakistan and Brazil. Elsewhere power prices in Japan and South Korea have climbed in recent weeks to reflect the spike in costs for oil, LNG and coal. China’s power shortages are largely rooted in high coal prices and inflexible electricity tariffs that have not been able to reflect the rising generation costs. Renewables and China’s net-zero carbon goal have not been blamed, but the debacle has renewed a debate in policy circles over whether the near-term priority should be energy security—which would include greater production of fossil fuels alongside renewabl

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