A rebound in China’s greenhouse gas emissions could be good news for U.S. LNG exporters. The decline in China’s coal consumption for three consecutive years had fuelled hopes that the country’s carbon dioxide emissions might already have peaked in 2016. But coal use has been rebounding this year, and the Global Carbon Project has estimated that China’s greenhouse gas emissions for 2017 will be up about 3.5 per cent from last year.

Using gas instead of coal can be a way to cut those emissions, so long as leaks of methane on the route from well to burner are low, and it also helps cut local air pollution, which is a more immediate imperative. As a result, China is expected to be the world’s most important market for future gas demand growth, and last week, President Donald Trump was accompanied on his visit to China by U.S. companies looking for a piece of the action.