04 November 2009

China's Resource Grab

In the Financial Times today there is an interesting article on China's efforts to lock down fossil fuel supplies around the world.

Like Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, China’s energy planners do not want “a serious crisis to go to waste”.

The country’s big three state-owned oil companies – China National Petroleum Corporation, Sinopec and China National Offshore Oil Corporation – have been strongly encouraged to make use of the global downturn in order to expand.

The crisis “is equally a challenge and an opportunity”, Zhang Guobao, head of the national energy administration, said this year. “The slowdown ... has reduced the price of international energy resources and assets and favours our search for overseas resources.”

This is even more stark when compared with a news analysis in the same edition of the FT, titled, "Beijing has played climate cards beautifully," an argument that I have recently made as well. Things are shaping up whereby the US will again be branded the outlaw in international climate policy, while China quietly gobbles up more and more fossil fuel resources.