The US government’s climate envoy, John Kerry, said natural gas can play a role in slowing the planet’s warming, but only if producers accelerate efforts to capture their carbon emissions.
“Gas is clearly part of the transitional effort,” he said in an interview in Abu Dhabi. “But if you’re going to head to net-zero by 2050, you’ve really got to have some serious capacity to be able to reduce emissions.”
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Demand for gas — particularly liquefied natural gas — has surged globally in recent years. Prices jumped to record levels after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Moscow decided to cut piped gas supplies to Europe in retaliation against sanctions.
US shipments of LNG are soaring and the country is now the world’s biggest exporter along with Qatar, which is spending around $45 billion to increase its production capacity by 2027.
Gas is cleaner than coal or oil, but it still emits carbon when burned and methane leaks are common in the industry. Many climate activists are against its use and say governments should phase it out as a fuel for generating electricity and heating homes.
Using gas instead of coal or oil can help cut emissions by 30 percent to 50 percent, Kerry said.
Still, “people aren’t talking about the responsibility to actually have a capture cut in,” Kerry said. “People are just talking about developing 30-40 year infrastructure. If we have that without abatement, it becomes self-defeating.”
Earlier at the same Atlantic Council event, he said on a panel: “If the world goes crazy on gas in the next 10 years, we’re in trouble.
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