Floods in Chinese Coal-mining regions: doule whammy is not just for China!


Chinese floods

China’s energy crisis was dealt a new blow on Monday as two key regions in the north, Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, experienced heavy floods.

The Chinese government, according to media reports, allocated over $12 million for those who had been affected by the disaster.

In addition, some major businesses in China make their own contributions to alleviate the suffering of the people in the regions.

The flood situation in Shaanxi province has, meanwhile, become a focus for global attention: it is not just the damage to an area over 190,000 hectares of farmland with crops – and over 17,000 houses – that bore the brunt of nature’s fury; on the contrary, it is the significance of this particular province in producing coal that is in unprecedented demand at present, not just in China, but across the world.

The Chinese authorities have shut down 60 coal mines in the region due to the floods.

A few days ago, China ordered energy firms to go on a buying spree to get enough coal for the winter months ahead, after experiencing acute power shortages in the north eastern region. In addition, China wants its local producers to increase the output in order to mitigate the impact on its vast manufacturing hubs.

This comes at a time when the demand for coal has become an acute international need; the total shut-down on Chinese mine, in light of the floods, inevitably leads to a steep increase in the price of coal, which, potentially pushes the price of energy up for consumers. It has already become a major global problem that needs to be addressed on a global platform.

When Covid-19 broke out in China two years ago, we, in the West, were led to believe by the mainstream media it was just a China-problem. As it turned out, it was not just China that suffered; it just spread like wild fire across the world with the loss of millions of lives.

The impending energy crisis is no different – as a pragmatic solution does not appear on the horizon at present. In short, going into a mode that resonates with mimicking an ostrich, as it happened during the early stages of the pandemic, is just out of the question.

On a positive note, meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has increased the crude oil production – and sale - for Asia. The kingdom slashed the price of crude oil for the region too, two weeks ago.

The gas producers do not see the demand with glee either; Qatar, the largest LNG producer in the world, said recently that the current gas price was not good for the consumer and producers alike – in the long run.

In this context, it is not right put the blame squarely at the doorstep of the fossil fuel producers: by doing so, we just trivializing an issue that is much more complicated than it sounds; it needs a cohesive global response.




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