A climate change conundrum: Is there a sweet spot for natural gas in the energy transition?
- When burned, natural gas derived from methane emits far less CO₂ than coal. However, if released directly into the atmosphere, it has a far higher warming potential
- The concentration of methane in the atmosphere is higher now than at any time in at least 800,000 years, and this is due to human activity
- Leakage of methane from oil and gas infrastructure has dented the green credentials of natural gas, but those emissions are very often preventable
- We believe regulators should push for stricter policies, pushing oil and gas companies to adopt best practice in operations
- If inadvertent emissions can be brought under control, then we think methane can have a role in the energy transition, especially as an alternative to coal
- Care must be taken to ensure this does not slow the adoption and deployment of renewable energy to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions