Curbing China’s coal addiction

A reported push from Beijing to cap its coal use understandably is tied with a bit of scepticism. But due to past misguided provincial government interference in the economy, there is large room for reductions in energy use without harming economic growth.

John Garnaut, Fairfax’s China correspondent, reported yesterday that the Chinese government’s State Council, the equivalent of our Cabinet, had agreed to a target that would cap 2015 energy use at levels only marginally above where they are now. It would mean energy demand that has been growing at 6.6 per cent per annum over 2005 to 2010 would need to fall to 3.5 per cent.

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