Climate envoy John Kerry asserted yesterday the commodity is a “bridge fuel” that can help nations on their path to net-zero emissions — a notion rejected by many climate hawks, and one that’s motivating some EU member states to threaten suit against the European Commission for proposing to treat gas as such.
“Gas can be helpful in this transition,” Kerry said at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event previewing next year’s COP27 climate change conference. “Gas is going to be important to the transition.”
The “bridge fuel” designation has the ring of an endorsement, but Kerry issued some major qualifications.
“But if we move too fast and too far with too much, and build out an infrastructure for 30 and 40 years, with plans to be able to use it for 30 or 40 years without abatement — if it’s abated, terrific.
“If you can capture 100% and it makes it affordable, that’s wonderful. But we’re not doing that,” he said, also bringing up the consequences of methane leaks.
Looking back to COP26, it’s important to remember participating governments resolved to at least phase down coal, which will have to be replaced with something.
The pro-gas Germans told the European Commission last week gas enables “rapid phase-out of coal” and to thus “achieve CO2 savings in the short term.”
The Germans also used “bridge” to positively describe the fuel and lobby the Commission to reduce restrictions on fossil gas in its proposed sustainable finance taxonomy (which, as we mentioned yesterday, Austria and Luxembourg oppose altogether for giving gas any chance at being considered green).
Kerry, who also emphasized the need to get rid of coal yesterday, seems to be in some broad agreement with Germany there.
It’s the latest refinement of the administration’s stance on natural gas from Kerry: Kerry last year, as the administration struggled to articulate a clear position on gas, said that it is not “anything near a long-term solution.”
The politics have shifted somewhat since and become even more volatile, with environmentalists voicing displeasure over President Joe Biden’s perceived lack of achievements on the fossil fuel front in his first year.
The counterbalance has been political pressure on Biden to find a way to lower fuel prices, as well as, more recently, the pressure to try to counter Russia’s influence over Europe.
Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners, said the administration is “toeing a narrow line” on the issue of gas, accounting for the especially high, gas-driven prices in Europe and the geopolitics associated with the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Book mentioned Biden’s comments last week suggesting the U.S. could help Europe by supplying it with more gas.
“Climate risk now appears to be competing with conventional energy security risk for administration bandwidth,” he told Jeremy.
Read rest at Examiner
Trackback from your site.
Credit: Source link