US climate envoy John Kerry puts natural gas on notice

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WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) – United States climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday (April 21) put natural gas on notice, saying the world’s reliance on the fossil gas needs to be restricted to probably a decade, except its greenhouse gas emissions are totally captured.

Though natural gas burns cleaner than coal when used to generate electrical energy, it shouldn’t be a part of a long-term climate technique with out emission-control know-how, Mr Kerry stated in an interview Thursday with Bloomberg Television.

“If you can capture the emissions – literally, genuinely – then you’re reducing the problem,” stated Mr Kerry, the US particular presidential envoy for climate.

“We have to put the industry on notice: You’ve got six years, eight years, no more than 10 years or so, within which you’ve got to come up with a means by which you’re going to capture, and if you’re not capturing, then we have to deploy alternative sources of energy.”

Mr Kerry’s feedback come because the world’s climate objectives are overshadowed by a short-term push to steer natural gas to European international locations and assist wean them off Russian power.

Inside the US many coverage initiatives that are supposed to assist fulfil the nation’s Paris settlement pledge to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 stay stalled in Congress, months earlier than an election that would price President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party management of the House and Senate.

Natural gas produces about 50 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal when burned to generate electrical energy, although environmentalists have warned that methane leaks in pipelines and processing tools can obliterate any of its inexperienced bonafides.

“I’ll take that 50 per cent reduction for the next eight years, because our goal between now and 2030 is to reduce emissions by a minimum of 45 per cent to do what the science has told us we have to do,” Mr Kerry stated.

“However, no one should make it easy for the gas interests to be building out 30- or 40-year infrastructure, which we’re then stuck with and you know the fight will be ‘well we can’t close these because of the employment, because of the investors, et cetera’.”

Mr Kerry’s feedback drew criticism from oil business officers, who stated they conflicted with Biden’s efforts to steer extra gas to Europe.

“Putting natural gas on an arbitrary clock is a bad signal to send to the global community, especially given President Joe Biden’s agreement to greatly expand US LNG exports to the EU by 2030,” tweeted Mr Mike Sommers, head of the American Petroleum Association.

“These comments create uncertainty and discourage needed investment.”

Ms Leslie Beyer, head of the Energy Workforce and Technology Council, warned in opposition to combined indicators that discourage investments in low-carbon know-how and crucial infrastructure to export gas.

“These statements directly contradict President Biden’s commitment to increase US LNG exports to Europe and discourage the long-term investments and contracts these projects require,” she stated.

The warfare in Ukraine and Europe’s bid to wean itself from Russian power are briefly disrupting the world’s climate progress, however might in the end speed up the shift to scrub energy, Mr Kerry stated.

“Things are in flux right now,” and there’s “a momentary hold, really, on the progress we’re making”, he stated.

“But in the long run, I think most countries have come to understand they don’t want their source of energy to be weaponised by another country as Putin is doing, they want the freedom to be able to move to cleaner energy, and they are going to,” Mr Kerry added.

“So I think it could wind up actually accelerating the transition.”

Mr Kerry, who was interviewed on the sidelines of the MIT Climate Grand Challenges occasion in Boston, hailed developments in renewable energy and battery storage, however stated extra funding is required to speed up transformational clean-energy know-how.

“This is like a triple Manhattan Project we ought to be involved in,” he stated. “We’re sitting on the cusp of the greatest energy transition, economically, that we’ve had since the Industrial Revolution.”

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