China’s consumption of natural gas is expected to grow by 8.1% annually from 2015 to 2030, Caixin reports. That’s considerably higher than what is expected of global demand, which is forecast to grow at 2.1% annually, according to a report from a think tank under China’s top oil producer, China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC). China’s demand for the fuel was sluggish in recent years due to weakening economic growth and excess capacity in downstream sectors, such as chemical and power generation. Falling international oil prices also made natural gas less appealing. The renewed interest in natural gas reflects the government’s stepped-up efforts to tackle China’s serious air pollution. Natural gas is much cleaner than coal, which accounts for 60% of China’s energy sources, and oil. Coal is a top contributor to greenhouse gases and air pollution – both of which Beijing has vowed to curb. Carbon emissions from burning natural gas are 59% those of coal and 72% those of oil.
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