Why U.S. Natural Gas is Key to Addressing Ambitions of the Paris Agreement
Posted January 19, 2021
Addressing the challenge of global climate change will require the collective efforts of the U.S. government and the business community, and America’s natural gas and oil industry is committed – through public policies and private-sector initiatives – to delivering climate solutions.
API supports the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement, including the call for global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By encouraging the development of groundbreaking technologies, like carbon capture, utilization and storage, and promoting the uptake of cleaner-burning natural gas, our members are driving environmental progress while meeting the world’s long-term energy needs.
Natural gas is an affordable, reliable fuel for power generation, and the resource is increasingly essential to America’s lower-carbon energy mix. In 2019, the U.S. saw the largest country-level decline in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, largely due to power generators switching to natural gas from coal.
Here’s why U.S. natural gas is fundamental to energy and environmental progress:
- Natural gas emits nearly one-half the carbon compared to coal, so the trend toward coal-to-natural gas switching in power generation has been instrumental in driving energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in a generation.
- By exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), America has the capacity to share this low-cost, lower-carbon resource with our trading partners in Europe, Asia and around the world. Natural gas is a big reason why the U.S. is the world leader in reducing emissions.
- API’s recent lifecycle analysis of U.S. LNG exports shows significant emissions savings in Europe and Asia when using natural gas rather than coal for power generation. U.S. LNG produces approximately 50% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal in all base case scenarios.
We share President-elect Biden’s goal of reducing the risks of climate change, and we have long held that any action must be global in nature. The U.S. leads the world in emissions reductions, and through the ongoing development of natural gas, we can accelerate global climate solutions and safeguard America’s energy future.
About The Author
Mike Sommers is the 15th chief executive of API since its founding nearly a century ago. Prior to coming to API, Mike led the American Investment Council, a trade association representing many of the nation’s leading private equity and growth capital firms and other business partners. He spent two decades in critical staff leadership positions in the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House, including chief of staff for then-House Speaker John Boehner. Mike is a native of Naperville, Illinois, and a graduate of the honors program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Mike and Jill Sommers, a former commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, have three children and live in Alexandria, Virginia.
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