For an economy that depends heavily on infrastructure development, China has been obsessed with meeting its energy goals. Late last month, China’s central government announced that it will need to use all available resources to achieve its so-called “goal of 4 percent growth of non-ferrous metallic production by 2020, which includes 7 percent growth of aluminum output,” as well as 7 percent annual growth of coal production. By next year, the country will also need to add 35 billion to 70 billion metric tons of coal to the global market, according to the Wall Street Journal.
And for all the required coal and oil, the pollution of smog-filled cities remains a serious problem for many, especially in the northeastern, Henan and Sichuan provinces. In May, about 10,500 citizens in Hebei province were forced to stop working for three days when a tree choked the electric generating power grid, according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile, the country is also working to move away from building highways and urban infrastructure toward preserving nature in a new “ecological civilization.”