GECF report on the role of natural gas in the global climate agenda
The adoption and ratification of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 was an important achievement of the international community in dealing with the climate change issue. The Agreement is a global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions involving more than 190 countries; it sets ambitious objectives to limit the temperature increase to 2°C above the pre-industrial period. Meeting this ambitious target requires major transformations, particularly from the energy sector, which contributes significantly to global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Furthermore, energy-related CO2 emissions continue to increase, driven by the growing energy needs of developing and emerging economies.
There are important challenges surrounding the effective implementation of national mitigation policies, and their ability to drive energy-related emissions toward a pathway that will limit the temperature increase to 2°C. A central question facing stakeholders in the energy community and policy makers alike, is how to find a balance between climate commitments and the requirements of social and economic development. The GECF Secretariat believes that promoting natural gas can be a part of this solution
This report aims to examine these recent challenges, and attempts to highlight the role that natural gas can play in supporting climate commitments. It is structured in four parts. The first chapter provides an overview of global GHG emissions and explains what the Paris Agreement means for the energy sector. The second and third chapters examine the advantages of natural gas in mitigating CO2 emissions, as well the challenges and barriers to increased penetration of natural gas in the global energy mix. The forth chapter assesses the future of energy-related CO2 emissions based on the GECF Global Gas Outlook, including the main policy drivers and developments in the post-Paris Agreement era.
This report is part of the continued work of the GECF Secretariat, aimed at monitoring the development of climate actions and initiatives and assessing their impact on energy markets and gas markets, in particular. The GECF, as an international organization involving major gas exporting countries, strives to contribute to dialogue concerning climate change issues and their effect on the energy sector. The organization believes that natural gas has the potential to be instrumental in the transition to low carbon economies— a belief that is central to the content of this report.
The GECF and its Member Countries are committed to advancing the global commitments outlined in the Paris Agreement, as exemplified in the Forum’s application to join the UNFCCC. These and other actions undertaken by the GECF Secretariat, including the publication of this report, underscore the Forum’s interest and motivations in contributing to the global discourse on the role of natural gas in the global climate agenda.