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Opinion

Proper pricing needed to make China's gas push work

Beijing must go beyond stop-gap measures to control pollution and meet demand

| China
China's blanket ban on residential coal use in certain areas and resulting severe gas shortage left many families without legal means to heat their homes.   © Reuters

Families living in northern China are having a difficult winter, and the government's plans for air pollution prevention and control appear to have come unstuck.

A blanket ban on residential coal use and an over-ambitious attempted roll-out of gas-fired boilers has led to a 14% nationwide leap in gas demand and severe shortages. As temperatures fall below already low seasonal norms, many families have been left without sufficient gas or even a gas boiler. The combination with the coal ban, they have been effectively forbidden from heating their homes.

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