Tuesday, September 21, 2010

China and global energy struggles

Michael Klare is a leading commentator, analyst and writer about global resource issues (his work has appeared on this blog before). 

In his latest piece Klare writes that China has overtaken the United States to become the world's number one energy consumer, a development that signals a massive global power shift. Klare argues that China's energy decisions will shape the world into the future:
"If you want to know which way the global wind is blowing (or the sun shining or the coal burning), watch China. That's the news for our energy future and for the future of great-power politics on planet Earth. Washington is already watching - with anxiety........."
"Because energy is tied to so many aspects of the global economy, and because doubts are growing about the future availability of oil and other vital fuels, the decisions China makes regarding its energy portfolio will have far-reaching consequences.  As the leading player in the global energy market, China will significantly determine not only the prices we will be paying for critical fuels but also the type of energy systems we will come to rely on.  More importantly, China’s decisions on energy preferences will largely determine whether China and the United States can avoid becoming embroiled in a global struggle over imported oil and whether the world will escape catastrophic climate change".

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