Jul 6, 2021 - Energy & Environment

IEA sees gas rebound and issues climate warning

Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Global natural gas consumption growth will slow again next year after 2021's post-pandemic surge, but even that modest trajectory is out of step with emissions-cutting goals, the International Energy Agency said.

Why it matters: Its new report adds to the picture of how the pandemic has affected energy use patterns and the likely effects of nations' climate policies in the near term.

The big picture: IEA sees natural gas demand growing by 3.6% this year after falling sharply in 2020, and then growing at a slower pace, averaging 1.7% in 2022-2024. The increase stems from recovery from the pandemic but also the continuing replacement of more emissions-intensive coal and oil with gas in some applications.

Threat level: Despite that fuel switching, IEA said the rising gas consumption is out of sync with pathways for aggressive emissions cuts needed to keep the goals of the Paris climate deal within reach.

The report says this of the projected 1.7% demand growth projected in 2022-2024 after this year's rebound...

  • "This slower growth may still be too high to match a net-zero emissions path, which requires higher substitution rates and efficiency gains – especially in mature markets, where most of the switching potential from coal and oil to gas has already been realised."

Read the whole report.

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