Gas-supply shortages are hitting north and central China as Beijing tries to accelerate a shift away from coal rather than miss environmental targets this year.
The situation has left some residents — mainly poor, urban migrants — without heat as temperatures drop below zero.
China’s emissions have fallen in recent years as a slowdown in economic growth hit heavily polluting industries in the north of the country. But an uptick in economic growth rates this year has caused emissions to rebound, forcing the government to double down on measures designed to control pollution from coal use.
The cutback in coal has created strong demand for liquefied natural gas and pushed LNG prices up by more than 40 per cent as of late November compared with the year before.