U.S. Natural Gas Will Drive Global CO2-Emissions Reductions as America Becomes Top LNG Exporter

The transition to natural gas for electricity generation could prevent 1.2 billion tons of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere, according to a new study by the International Energy Agency.

In fact, simply by using existing natural gas-fired power plants to replace higher-emitting fuel sources, global power sector emissions could be reduced by 10 percent, while total energy-related C02 emissions could decline by 4 percent. As IEA explains:

“In mature markets like the United States and European Union, coal-to-gas switching is a compelling near-term option for reducing emissions, given existing infrastructure and spare capacity. Gas can also contribute to security of supply by balancing variable renewables and meeting peaks in demand.”

While the report touts the emissions-reducing environmental benefits of natural gas, it also explains its necessity in the energy mix going forward:

“Gas delivers valuable energy services, some of which – notably seasonal storage, high-temperature heat for industry, and winter heating for buildings – are difficult to replicate cost-effectively with low-carbon alternatives.”


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