Report launch: Can natural gas be used without impacting climate change targets?

09 Sep 2021

With industry, private sector, individuals, and countries all making actionable steps to reach net zero, can natural gas still help us with the transition, and if so, how best could it be used as a resource. What are the implications of Paris agreed climate targets on the role of natural gas in the future energy landscape? These are the questions being addressed by the latest white paper (‘The best uses of natural gas within Paris climate targets’) from researchers at the Sustainable Gas Institute, as part of the White Paper series.

Energy scenarios for natural gas use vary significantly due to the changing assumptions and the characteristics of the model used to create them. Dr Jamie Speirs, and co-authors from Imperial College (Luke Dubey and Naveed Tariq) and Dr Paul Balcombe from Queen Mary University of London have examined the evidence from hundreds of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios and models around the best uses of natural gas under a 1.5°C and examines the change between 2°C and 1.5°C targets and the impact on the use of natural gas in the future for the years 2050, and 2100.

Natural gas compliant with climate targets

Currently, there are several different uses for natural gas that may be compliant with future climate change targets, in heating/cooling and cooking; in feedstock for chemical production; or as a transport fuel, particularly for heavy goods vehicles and shipping. The team has also previously explored the role of natural gas in transport in a recent white paper. One of the key issues addressed in this current white paper is how the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies might facilitate electricity generation from natural gas or hydrogen production without causing significant greenhouse gas emissions.

In summary, the authors have answered the following important questions:

  • What Is the global story for gas use in IPCC 1.5°C energy scenarios?
  • What is the regional variation in natural gas use?
  • To what extent can we use CCS to mitigate natural gas emissions?
  • The use of hydrogen as a low carbon energy vector for natural gas; and
  • What factors will influence any future analysis of natural gas best uses?

Join the discussion

The report will be launched at a virtual event next month with author presentations and commentary from panellists from The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and The World Bank, followed by a Q&A with the audience. Here the details of the event:

Event: The best uses of natural gas within Paris climate targets

Platform: MS Teams Live (online)

Date: Wednesday 13 October, 12.30 -13.30

Register: via Eventbrite

About: The Sustainable Gas Institute, at Imperial College London, examines the environmental, economic and technological role of natural gas in the global energy landscape.  You can keep up to date with the Sustainable Gas Institute on various social media platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Sustainable Gas Institute blog and our newsletter.