Moscow’s most recent, failed attempt to cooperate with China on the Altai gas pipeline shows that its political ambitions are not compatible with elementary arithmetic.
Rather than “replacing” Europe with China in its foreign policy universe, Russia would be wise to develop its relations with Beijing closer to the level of the very thick ties which link it to its Western neighbors.
Beijing is implementing a policy to bring five million electric vehicles to Chinese roads by 2020.
The only possible source of money for the Power of Siberia pipeline is no one else but China, and the terms of this assistance will be dictated from Beijing. The Kremlin’s inability to come to terms with the Western world does not come cheap.
The effect of the new sanctions on the Russian oil and gas industry might be very sensitive while at the same time saving large sums of money on projects with impossibly long payback prospects. Either way, Western governments are now doing basically what the Russian leader always wanted, staying away from Russia’s oil and gas.
The secretive nature of the gas agreement between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp may show that the contract contains something the Russian negotiators could not be proud of in the limelight of Russian public opinion.
Transport is widely expected to be the last sector to wean itself off oil. But as oils get more difficult, dangerous and damaging, the world must be compelled not to repeat the same mistakes.
Since its establishment in the 1970s, the global energy market has gone through significant change while regulations have remained stagnant. The global energy market urgently needs systematic reform.
High levels of smog persist throughout China due to weak enforcement of current environmental regulations. Environmental protection agencies are understaffed and do not have the power to oppose government officials that prioritize GDP growth over environmental protection.
The almost ten-day period of heavy smog in Beijing in February completely erased locals’ illusion that the air pollution had already seen significant progress.