Volatile energy prices in China and India pose challenges to international negotiations in Glasgow later this month, underscoring the balancing act each nation faces as pressure rises to deliver on the Paris climate goals. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said short-term emissions targets would be contingent on an in-depth assessment, and oil, methane gas and coal would remain essential, Bloomberg reported. President Xi Jinping said environmental goals must be both “ambitious” and “pragmatic,” while he announced construction of a giant renewable project in the western deserts, bigger than all the wind and solar power in India, as part of its 2060 net-zero goal. Extreme weather is to blame for some of China’s coal shortage, Axios noted, following heavy rains and flooding in the coal-producing Shanxi region.
India, which relies on coal for 70% of its electricity production, had less than 8 days of supplies left at 80% of its 135 coal-powered plants, according to government data. Meanwhile, the U.K. climate envoy called on China, India and other countries to set new and more ambitious emission targets in line with Paris goals. Energy volatility is also threatening European nations, where clean energy opponents seek to blame the push for renewable energy despite the historic volatility of fossil fuel prices and availability.
In the U.S., methane gas prices have more than doubled over the past year while production remains flat, as the industry pushes to export domestic LNG overseas and risks sending prices even higher. (China: Axios, Bloomberg $, Reuters; The Guardian, FT $; Renewable projects: Bloomberg $; Coal region flooding: BBC, Washington Post $; India: CNBC, The Guardian; UK: Wall Street Journal $; U.S. LNG: Natural Gas Intel; Global price volatility: The Guardian; Climate Signals background: Extreme precipitation increase)