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Expand chart
Data: Columbia | SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

There's plenty written about what oil giants like Exxon are — and aren't — doing on climate, but a report from a Columbia University energy think tank explores how Chinese companies are approaching the matter.

Why it matters: Chinese state companies have a role to play in China's vow to peak emissions before 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060.

  • But they're key to the energy security of the world's largest oil and gas importer, the paper notes, so supply of those fuels "almost certainly will remain job number one."

The big picture: One conclusion is that China's national companies are "shifting from 'oil and gas' to 'gas and oil' companies."

  • "Natural gas can reduce China’s GHG emissions if it substitutes for coal and methane emissions are managed," writes research scholar Erica Downs.

Yes, but: Deep decarbonization ultimately requires a shift away from fossil fuels.

  • The companies know they have to expand initiatives around areas like offshore wind, even though fossil fuels will remain their core business "for at least the next decade."

Of note: That chart above looks at emissions from companies' operations and energy they use, but doesn't include much larger "Scope 3" emissions — the CO2 from the use of their products in the economy (think cars, factories and so forth).

Go deeper: China vows end to building coal-fired power plants abroad

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 20, 2021 - Energy & Environment

UN: Fossil fuel output plans would crush Paris hopes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A United Nations report warns that governments and fossil fuel companies are planning levels of oil, natural gas and coal production that are "dangerously out of sync" with holding global warming in check.

Driving the news: "[T]he world’s governments still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C, and 45% more than consistent with limiting warming to 2°C," it states.

Global energy crisis could dim climate hopes

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

An energy crisis around the world is hitting households and manufacturers that were already struggling to recover from the global pandemic.

Why it matters: This is a perfect storm of crises. It features supply shortages, especially from China; inflation; slowing growth; labor shortages; Russia’s continued geopolitical muscle-flexing and, of course, the fear that the world will burn to a crisp.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 22, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The road to COP26 gets slightly easier

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The bad diplomatic vibes heading into the critical United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, might be improving slightly.

Catch up fast: Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday pledged to end overseas finance for building new coal-fired power plants and boost support for clean energy in developing nations.