Tag Archives: Energy economics

China’s Growing Sway Over World Energy Markets

A decade ago China consumed half as much energy as the U.S. Now, as the International Energy Agency reported earlier this week, China has become the world’s largest energy consumer having passed the U.S. last year (on raw volume if not on per capita consumption). That is what a decade of robust growth will do allied to better gains in energy efficiency in the U.S. that in China.

The implications of all this, apart from gaining some dubious bragging rights, is that China and its mostly state-owned energy companies will hold more sway over global energy markets and that the country’s efforts to increase energy efficiency, now distorted by price controls, will increasingly shape global efforts to that end, including international climate policy. This is just one more example of how emerging markets in general and China in particular are reshaping the global economy.

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