The combustion of natural gas releases mainly methane, which has severe consequences for the atmosphere. Other greenhouse gases are also released, including carbon dioxide. This is what Eilidh Robb from Friends of the Earth Europe said during a webinar for journalists on “The fossil gas myth: bridge or dead end to a just energy transition?”.
She pointed out that all greenhouse gases emitted from natural gas have an impact on the Earth’s ozone layer and are extremely damaging to the planet and contributing to climate change.
“This is an extremely strong fossil fuel,” Robb was quoted as saying by BTA. All this makes the use of natural gas completely incompatible with the goal of a 55 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 or with the goals of the Paris Agreement. It’s also completely at odds with the Green Deal.
According to Eilidh Robb, natural gas has a very severe impact on air quality, water quality and local flora and fauna. It also impacts local communities that live near where the gas is extracted or the production facilities that use it. The environment is being heavily polluted. People living nearby are at greater risk of asthma, respiratory diseases and cancer, she said.
Many assume that because natural gas does not emit such large amounts of carbon dioxide, it is probably much better than coal. This is not true, however, because burning natural gas releases huge amounts of methane. The challenge is that methane is invisible. The emissions cannot be seen with the naked eye, but they exist. It is an extremely strong greenhouse gas.
Eilidh Robb added that several studies have come out recently that say burning natural gas is even worse than burning coal.
“The gas industry is developing this story that it’s successfully selling, which is that gas is an alternative to coal, but it’s really not,” she added.