Proponents of LNG terminals and pipelines
Proponents of LNG terminals and pipelines have also used their environmental assessment applications to argue that greenhouse gas emissions from their projects are not significant, the report adds. The primary argument is that LNG exports allow reductions in coal use for electricity generation in Asia, leading to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The report, funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, generally accepts the position that liquefied natural gas results in fewer greenhouse gases than coal. But it also warns that squaring off one energy source against the other in isolation provides a skewed view of LNG’s benefits.
“The overall mix of natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewable energy and energy efficiency determines overall GHG emissions, and considering natural gas and coal in isolation misses this bigger picture,” it concludes.
The report cites three main shifts in climate change policies required by nations producing and consuming natural gas to “give the world an acceptable chance of avoiding” warming by two degrees Celsius.
Those shifts include reduced demand for all fossil fuels relative to business as usual; more demand for renewable and nuclear energy; and less overall energy demand because of increasing energy efficiency and conservation.