The European Union and China are expected to increasingly depend on oil supply imports to meet a majority of their demands by 2030, from the Gulf and Russia. However, because of the competitive environment spurned on by China’s national growth, concerns has also been raised for how environmental consumption demands is harboring a scarce environment for resources, and the impact this is having on the climate. Impacts of climate change can be felt in the EU and China already, as both regions survive amidst increased development and a hike in prices.
There is no turning away for development in China because the city plans at the moment breeds a wasteful situation and so many areas are plainly inhabitable. A great migration is happening nationally as more and more Chinese move from rural areas to cities, and this migration needs to meet infrastructure construction to sustain the population effortlessly. The situation in the EU is slightly different from all of this because the infrastructure needs to constantly be upgraded and maintained, instead of built from scratch.
The market for raw materials globally has shifted as China keeps growing: coal, soybeans, petroleum, maize and palm oil are some commodities that is very much in demand nationally and the country is also a huge importer of natural resources, much like the EU. In comparison to developing economies, where rice (Bangladesh), gas (Iran), petroleum (Saudi Arabia), maize (Brazil), and palm oil and coal (India) have significant consumption rates, only for coal does consumption rates for China dominate more than it should.
Both India and China need to address their demands in coal consumption – although, investments have increased in new mining concepts in the two countries, there is no growth in sight for domestic mines, but the consumption rate is peaking for coal. This is all as a result of coal-fired power generation in Asia, which has seen a substantial increase and all of this activity has fired up the coal market globally. In the imports market, East Asia is an important player in fossil fuels, metals, oilseeds, forestry products and raw materials, as diverse as leather and wool.
China has become deeply reliant on oil over the last few years, whilst energy security issues faced by the EU is only met because of imports. As China begins to grow its local natural gas market, to meet local consumption demands, better relations with Russia (such as construction of gas pipelines) can pose as mutually beneficial to both Europe and China. The Neighbourhood Policy of the EU takes into account the need to develop better relations over energy consumption with key players locally, such as Russia and Norway, and also those further afield who are proving to be major energy consumers, such as China and the United States, so this can feed into all of that.
The EU and China contribute a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions to the environment together, so a greater cooperation than before should really be organized between the two, putting aside difficult differences to protect the global environment. Developments in clean energy market has actually seen substantial progress, such as national cleaner environment programs for China, so local politics in both China and the EU needs to follow through with the same ambition.