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China's power cuts shut down factories, fuel climate goal pushback

A Chinese worker cleans up a machine to produce electricity at a power station in Taizhou city, east China's Jiangsu province, 23 January 2018. Even though most analysts agree that supply-and-demand is the primary cause of power shortages, much of the discussion in China has focused on the government's "dual control" targets to control energy consumption and industry emissions. Arkivfoto: Imaginechina via AP Images

Last Friday, the lights went out across northeast China. Cars piled up at intersections under blacked-out stoplights. Residents took to social media to complain about needing to walk up dozens of flights of stairs to get home. Sales of candles increased tenfold, according to state media.

In the city of Jilin, a state-owned water services provider sent out a message warning residents that power cuts "of indeterminate lengths, at indeterminate times, without plan, without warning," would be the norm until March. (The company later deleted the statement and apologized for its "unsuitable wording and inaccurate content.")..

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