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ICYMI: International Energy Agency Underscores Importance of Natural Gas


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WASHINGTON, July 17, 2019 – Yesterday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a new report underscoring the importance of clean natural gas to driving meaningful reductions in carbon emissions while also satisfying the world’s growing energy needs. 

“The fact that the U.S. leads the world in carbon emission reductions is largely a result of increased use of natural gas, which was made possible by the U.S. energy revolution,” said API Chief Economist Dean Foreman. “Natural gas has led to a fundamental shift in the global energy landscape with this clean, affordable, and abundant resource driving a triad of environmental progress, economic growth and human development.”

Natural Gas Is Driving Emissions Reductions In The U.S. And Around The World

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol: “Natural gas is one of the mainstays of global energy.” “Natural gas is one of the mainstays of global energy: worldwide consumption is rising rapidly and in 2018 gas accounted for almost half of the growth in total global energy demand. Gas plays many different roles in the energy sector and, where it replaces more polluting fuels, it also reduces air pollution and limits emissions of carbon dioxide.” (“Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/16/19, p. 2)

Globally, more than 500 million tonnes of CO2 emissions have been avoided as a result of coal-gas-switching since 2010. “Coal-to-gas switching avoided more than 500 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over this period.” (“Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/16/19, p. 8)

In the U.S., “coal-to-gas switching has contributed to the 21% drop in US power sector emissions intensity since 2010.” “Alongside growth in renewables and advances in efficiency, coal-to-gas switching has contributed to the 21% drop in US power sector emissions intensity since 2010.” (“Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/16/19, p. 49)

  • More broadly,  coal-to-gas switching has been responsible for around 18% of carbon emission savings in the U.S. since 2010. “In the case of the United States, coal-to-gas switching has been responsible for around 18% of carbon emission savings since 2010, with the remaining reductions mainly attributable to structural economic changes, energy efficiency, and renewables.” (“Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/16/19, p. 49)

“Coal-to-gas switching has been responsible for nearly one-fifth of total US emissions savings since 2010.” (“Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/16/19, p. 47)

Natural gas-fired power generation has increased 70% since 2005 and is responsible for a third of U.S. electric generating capacity. “The result has been a 70% increase in natural gas-fired power generation since 2005, with gas now responsible for a third of total US electricity generation.” (“Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/16/19, p. 49)

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.

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