A Chinese natural gas drilling platform in the Shenhu area of the South China Sea, southeast of Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China, July 9, 2017. Picture: Reuters/Stringer

China’s consumption of natural gas is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 8.1% from 2015 to 2030, according to a think tank affiliated with China National Petroleum Corporation, reports Caixin. That compares to global demand growth of just 2.1%.

The country’s demand has been sluggish of late due to weakening economic growth and falling oil prices, but government policy is prompting a shift.

The government has set a target for natural gas to account for 10% of the country’s energy consumption, up from 5.9% in 2015, to move away from coal and oil, which churn out higher level of carbon emissions.