The world energy market now revolves around China. So does the climate change debate and any attempt to reduce emissions. According to the latest figures from the BP Statistical Review, the growth in China’s energy consumption last year amounted to more than the total annual consumption of the UK. Then there is a corporate dimension to China’s growing role in the global energy market. The Chinese are using their current economic strength to buy into European energy companies. How should Europe respond to all this? Read more

Although we hear a great deal about national energy policies it is important to remember that this is a global sector. Prices are set internationally. So are patterns of investment and developments in technology. Emissions and climate change are international issues.  National policies can protect, subsidise or tax different elements of energy production and consumption – but they are essentially local responses to external, global developments.

I think it is therefore worth looking at what is shaping the global market. It would be silly to reduce a complex system to a single answer but what stands out at the moment and for the foreseeable future is the absolutely critical role of China. Read more