China, India Chart Different Refining Paths

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China and India, the world’s largest and third-largest carbon emitters, have come to the COP26 climate talks with plans to reach net-zero by 2060 and 2070, respectively. But their refinery investment plans speak volumes about the pace of their energy transitions and their continued dependence on oil in the future. China has set a 2025 cap for its refining capacity — albeit at an eye-popping 20 million barrels per day. Indian refiners, with current capacity of 5 million b/d, plan to add 1 million b/d by 2025 and another 1 million b/d by 2030. Both China and India have yet to cap their carbon emissions, partly due to still strong energy demand growth, which makes a rapid push to net-zero much harder than for developed nations. But climate change-driven disasters are hitting both countries hard, adding some urgency to decarbonization plans. China, the first Asian country to come out with a net-zero goal last year, is finalizing sectoral plans that will have consequences for its energy sector, putting it well ahead of India. Still, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went against expectations by announcing India’s 2070 net-zero goal at COP26 in Glasgow this week. Both countries' net-zero target dates are further out than the 2050 goals set by developed economies like the US, Europe, UK, Japan and South Korea, highlighting the extent of their decarbonization challenges.

Refining, Low-Carbon Policy
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