China prioritizes stable power prices over emissions targets
China will keep electricity prices steady amid huge energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
This was announced by Sun Cuihua, vice-head of the climate change department of the National Development and Reform Commission.
China is the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gas and its coal-heavy power sector generates more than half of total emissions.
But while Beijing has made broad commitments to reform the pricing system, it fears nationwide tariff increases could stoke inflation and even create social unrest.
The comments by Sun Cuihua suggest China's power sector will be excluded from a proposed national carbon trading scheme.
Speaking at the release of an International Energy Agency study on power sector participation in emissions trading, she said supply security and price stability would remain the main focus even if this meant shelving some of China's ambitious carbon trading proposals.
"If the problem of rising electricity prices and shortages cannot be solved, then the government cannot accept such proposals," she said.