Report: War-triggered gas boom threatens world climate goal

Nov 10, 2022, 3:41 AM | Updated: 4:14 am

FILE - The LNG Canada industrial energy project is under construction in Kitimat, British Columbia,...

FILE - The LNG Canada industrial energy project is under construction in Kitimat, British Columbia, Sept. 28, 2022. The war-inspired natural gas boom is undermining already insufficient efforts to limit future warming to just a few more tenths of a degree, according to a new report released Thursday, Nov. 10, by Climate Action Tracker. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The war-inspired natural gas boom is undermining already insufficient efforts to limit future warming to just a few more tenths of a degree, a new report says.

Planning and build-up of liquified and other natural gas — due to an energy crisis triggered by Russian’s invasion of Ukraine — would add 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (1.9 billion metric tons) a year to the air by 2030, according to a report released Thursday by Climate Action Tracker at international climate talks in Egypt.

That’s enough greenhouse gas to “hinder if not catastrophically hinder chances of achieving 1.5 degrees” Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, the international warming-limiting goal, said climate scientist Bill Hare, chief executive officer of Climate Analytics, one of the groups behind Climate Action Tracker, which monitors and analyzes climate promises and action.

The world has already warmed 1.1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times, leaving little room to keep below the 1.5 limit set in Paris in 2015.

The sheer amount of liquified natural gas projects in the pipeline for construction shocked the analysts, Hare said. The report calculates that if everything planned goes through, the build-up would produce five times the amount of gas it is supposed to replace from Russia.

“This reaction to the energy crisis is an over reach that must be scaled back,” the report says.

One key way scientists calculate how likely the world is to keep to the 1.5 degree goal is a carbon budget, or how much carbon emissions can still be produced between now and 2050 while staying at or below 1.5 degrees. The tracker report says the LNG planned build-up would eat up about 10% of that 460 billion ton budget on its own. There’s about nine years or so left in that carbon budget, Hare said.

About 70% of the planned new gas production facilities are in North America, Hare said. Europe, which needs the gas but doesn’t have it, is investing in receiving systems. The tracker report said if everything is built up there will either be too much carbon pollution or stranded energy assets that won’t be used.

Natural gas industry leaders say the fuel is the answer to the world’s problem, not a problem itself.

“The global conversation has changed. And what has changed about it is the recognized version of how essential energy is to not just economic security, but national security,” Karen Harbert, chief executive officer of the American Gas Association told The Associated Press. “Natural gas is not only essential for the survival of Ukraine, it can do a lot to address the world’s carbon emissions. It can do a lot to bring people out of energy poverty. And here in the United States, we’re blessed to have so much natural gas today.”

Former Vice President Al Gore, who has been a climate activist for more than 30 years, said decades ago he and others called natural gas a bridge to the future because it was helping wean American and elsewhere off far dirtier coal. But not now.

“Now I believe it’s a classic bridge to nowhere,” Gore told The Associated Press in a 30-minute interview at the international climate summit in Egypt. He said an especially big problem for natural gas is methane leaking from pipelines, wells and elsewhere.

The climate action tracker report said last year’s methane pledge “has not yet lived up to the hype” with big emitters not quite acting yet, just promising.

The tracker says that since last year’s climate talks, there has been only a little progress in pledges and action to reduce carbon emissions.


Follow AP’s climate and environment coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment


Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears


Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

3 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

4 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

11 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

12 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

14 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Report: War-triggered gas boom threatens world climate goal