IEA: switching to gas reduces emissions

A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) says countries switching from coal to natural gas reduces CO2 emissions.

In its report The Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions, the IEA examined the role of fuel switching, primarily from coal to natural gas, and the effect this has on CO2 emissions and air quality.

The report, which looked at energy use in China, India, the US and Europe, said switching from coal to natural gas in these locations had saved approximately 500 million t of CO2 since 2010, which was the equivalent to putting an extra 200 million electric vehicles running on zero-carbon electricity on the road.

The report also said further switches from coal to gas could lead to reduction of up to 1.2 gigatons of emissions.

IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol said gas is one of the mainstays of global energy.

“Where it replaces more polluting fuels, it improves air quality and limits emissions of carbon dioxide,” he said.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) welcomed the report, with APPEA Chief Executive Andrew McConville saying it highlighted the vital contribution gas was playing in the energy world.

“Australia’s LNG industry often does not receive credit for its important role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and helping import nations improve air quality,” he said.

“The IEA analysis reaffirms that natural gas from Australia has a critical role to play in decarbonising the global economy.

“The oil and gas industry believes climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution.”

Recent analysis from EnergyQuest reported Australia’s LNG exports will increase to 80 million t over the current year, making the country the world’s largest LNG exporter.

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