China Global

China’s Energy Security

Episode Summary

Following the COP 27 climate change summit in Egypt and preceding the oncoming winter, energy security is a concern for many countries. China, which has become a major player in global energy markets, is no exception. Its willingness to buy Russian oil and sell excess liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe has significantly influenced energy flows in 2022. Unsurprisingly, energy security has been among Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s priorities. He has said that China “must hold the energy food bowl in its own hands”. The country is a significant consumer of renewables and fossil fuels, and its changing energy mix and overseas energy investments impacts the world’s ability to combat global warming. To discuss the evolution of China’s energy policy and its influence on global energy markets, host Bonnie Glaser speaks with Dr. Erica Downs, senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Dr. Downs previously worked as a senior research scientist in the China Studies program of the CNA Corporation, as a senior analyst in the Asia practice at Eurasia Group, as an energy analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, and as a lecturer at the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing.

Episode Notes

[1:40] China’s Approach to Energy Security

[4:45] Dependence on Russia’s Energy

[14:08] Oil Partnerships with the Gulf

[16:41] Decarbonization & Energy Security Goals

[19:41] China’s Overseas Energy Investments 

[22:23] US-China Energy & Climate Change Cooperation