IGU COP21 Vision: Natural Gas, The Only Viable Strategy To Hit Carbon Targets
By Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu
David Carroll, the incoming President of the International Gas Union (IGU), has shared the IGU’s belief that if world leaders are serious about their stated aim of managing global emissions and if they want to ensure affordable energy for a growing global population, then they need to enable the greater use of natural gas in the global energy mix. The IGU President said this at the just concluded World Gas Conference, WGC, which held in Paris, on the 1st to 5th June, 2015.
In his words: “Enhanced usage of natural gas is the single most effective way for the world to responsibly reduce emissions. Natural gas provides a proven solution that works in almost any application for all energy uses, is affordable and plentiful around the world.
“Of course COP21 is about carbon reduction, but enhanced gas usage will deliver reductions and materially address the very immediate health issue of air quality by virtually eliminating NOX and SOX pollutants and particulates that contribute to respiratory diseases such as asthma.
“We look forward to developing our position through the year and presenting our findings at what we hope will be a very successful COP 21 session. Our aim is to persuade the world to embrace enhanced natural gas usage, and understand that it is the most sensible option to not just reduce CO2 emissions but also enhance the lives of people across the globe today.”
The enhanced use of gas as a power generation fuel will help sovereign states meet their carbon targets. Former International Energy Agency Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka has stated that the target for the proportion of the energy mix to be covered by natural gas-fired thermal power plants by 2030 is 27%, if Japan wanted to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.
Enhanced use of gas will facilitate the development and greater deployment of renewable technologies. The inherent adaptability and complementary nature of gas allows it to be used alongside renewable energy sources by quickly responding to renewable generation output fluctuation.
Greater gas use promises significant reductions in emissions compared to other fossil fuels. The CO2 and other emission reductions when compared to either coal or oil burning systems will reduce air pollution and the consequent negative health impacts.
Reliability of supply for natural gas can be assured thanks to vast resource base. A growing global gas supply industry is evident around the world, with new supplies and liquidity provided by LNG providing more liquidity in all markets.
Enhanced gas use promises real economic & social benefits – greater usage and availability of natural gas will help diversify and strengthen industrial economies and empower developing societies. It can replace animal dung and firewood as a domestic fuel, liberating millions from the time and effort involved in collecting fuel for cooking.