(Bloomberg) -- China didn’t set an annual target for reducing the energy intensity of its economy as it seeks flexibility to navigate unprecedented tumult in global commodity markets.
Instead of an annual target, China will focus on staying on track for its five-year goal of reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 13.5% from 2021 to 2025, Premier Li Keqiang said at the opening of the National People’s Congress. China usually lays out annual targets, including aiming for a 3% reduction last year. It also avoided an annual target in 2020, at height of the country’s fight against the pandemic.
Read more: Chinese Premier Li Sets 2022 GDP, Inflation Targets: Full Report
The energy intensity target briefly came under fire in September for undermining economic growth when a handful of provinces ordered factories to temporarily shut so they could achieve their goals. Those concerns were quickly overtaken by a nationwide shortage of coal that prompted power curtailments at factories across the country.
In a Feb. 28 report, the government said it reduced energy intensity by 2.7% last year, while it decreased carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 3.8%. Total energy consumption rose 5.2% to the equivalent of 5.24 billion tons of coal.
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