Oxford Energy Podcast – China: Lessons from 2020 and Outlook 2021

Despite the COVID-19 shock, China is likely to be the only major economy to have expanded in 2020.  The strong rebound in economic activity, bolstered mainly by infrastructure investments, has been fossil fuel intensive, supporting global oil and LNG markets. The strength of the recovery was such that the country suffered from power and gas shortages over the course of the winter that reverberated through global markets. But while from a market perspective China is on track to resuming strong, fossil-fuel heavy growth, especially in light of the leaderships renewed emphasis on supply security, President Xi’s announcement in September 2020 that the country would aim to reach carbon neutrality by 2060 suggests a change of course is in the making. How will this be reflected in the upcoming 14th Five Year Plan that will be issued in March this year? How do the events of 2020 and the winter shortages inform the priorities for the year ahead? Michal Meidan and David Ledesma discuss some of the lessons from 2020 as well as the outlook for policies and markets in 2021.