China’s Xi Says Climate Targets Can’t Compromise Energy Security

(Bloomberg) -- President Xi Jinping said efforts to achieve China’s climate targets need to work in lockstep with the government’s other objectives, as policy makers seek to balance sometimes conflicting environmental and economic aims.

Xi said the nation’s carbon goals shouldn’t clash with other priorities, which include securing adequate supplies of food, energy and materials “to ensure the normal life of the masses,” according to comments made at a Politburo session reported by the official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday.

Xi said China needs to make sure it has enough coal, and that oil and gas output grows steadily, in his clearest comments yet that reducing emissions shouldn’t come at the cost of other economic goals. An unprecedented energy crisis in the fall has highlighted concerns that China’s reliance on fossil fuels remains as entrenched as ever.

Xi established China’s carbon targets in 2020, pledging to peak emissions by the end of the decade and deliver a carbon neutral society by 2060. They marked a step change in China’s approach to global warming and sparked a flurry of directives from across government and industry as policy makers and company executives sought to incorporate the president’s vision.