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There wasn’t much new for climate watchers to celebrate at the start of China’s annual policy meeting, as Beijing staked out a flexible energy policy that won’t hinder its efforts to spur economic growth.

In work reports released at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Saturday, the government opted not to set a yearly target for reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP, its usual metric for charting its climate performance. Instead, it sought “appropriate flexibility” as it seeks to balance its carbon goals with the needs of an economy that has stuttered since the summer.

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