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China Shuns Energy Use Target to Focus on Securing Fuel Supply

  • Flexibility sought amid unprecedented tumult in commodities
  • Energy intensity goal will be assessed on five-year basis
Xi Jinping, left, with Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People on March 4.

Xi Jinping, left, with Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People on March 4.

Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images  

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China declined to set a new hard target for energy use and will focus on securing fuel supplies as the world’s biggest oil, gas and coal importer navigates unprecedented tumult in global markets.

Instead of an annual goal for energy consumption per unit of GDP, one of the nation’s favored metrics for progress on climate action, China will give itself more flexibility to meet targets previously set for 2025 to help support growth.