• English

Blue is the new green: UNECE to discuss the sustainable management of natural gas

Natural gas provides almost a quarter of today’s global primary energy supply. It is forecast that the share of natural gas in the energy mix will increase for many years to come.

Natural gas is a fuel that burns a blue flame. But the blue, if managed responsibly, can become “green”. Natural gas has a key role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The use of natural gas in power generation not only results in improved air quality compared to coal-fired power plants by reducing smog, but also helps to mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas is cleaner than other fuels, with 50% less carbon dioxide emissions than coal.

The current world population of over 7 billion is projected to reach over 9 billion by 2050. With this increase in the population, energy demand is expected to double. Burning natural gas is the cheapest and fastest way for many countries to meet their growing need for energy while reducing carbon dioxide emissions and improving air quality. However, the interactions between gas and other primary energy sources are very complex.

Sustainable management of natural gas will be the principal theme of the second session of the UNECE Group of Experts on Gas, to be held in Geneva on 20 and 21 January.

The UNECE Group of Experts on Gas provides a forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue on ways to promote the sustainable clean production and consumption of gas in the UNECE region. The four task forces established by the Group last year are now developing best practices on reducing gas leaks along the value chain, on the role of natural gas in increasing the uptake of renewable energy, on liquefied natural gas, as well as recommendations on removing barriers to the use of natural gas in transportation.

Another gas-related event will take place on the eve of the Group of Experts – the Fifth Gas Industry Forum of the UNECE Gas Centre (19 January, starting at 2.30 pm). The Industry Forum will focus on two key topics: the outlook for long term contracts in a globalizing market and the role of natural gas in the international energy mix.

For more information: contact Branko Milicevic at: natural.gas@unece.org