China’s power crunch may derail support for sustainable investment

Facing an energy shortage, Beijing’s decision to loosen restrictions on coal production suggests a backtrack on the environmental initiative that ESG investors had set their sights on.

Amid efforts to navigate a global trade recovery while the pandemic is endured, international manufacturers are encountering logistical issues, component shortages, and rising operating costs. But others are witnessing an even more pronounced emergency their machines will not turn on.

The current energy shortage and spike in electricity prices is becoming a burden not only for industrial activity, but for public wellbeing. While much of this crisis stems from robust demand as economies reopen, limited supply is the main culprit.

Increasing energy availability is engulfed by both environmental and political challenges. The call to shift away from coal and other high-polluting sources has grown louder amid a...

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