Berlin (Agencies): Liquefied natural gas (LNG), increasingly relied upon by Germany amid the energy crisis following reduced Russian gas supplies, may have more severe environmental implications than burning coal, according to a recent US study reported by Welt on Monday.
Germany, formerly meeting up to 40% of its energy demand with Russian gas, shifted to LNG imports, mainly from the US, in response to geopolitical developments. However, the study suggests that LNG’s impact on the environment could be significantly worse than that of coal.
“Across all scenarios considered, total greenhouse gas emissions from LNG are larger than those from coal, ranging from 24% to 274% greater,” stated methane researcher Robert W. Howarth from Cornell University, the study’s author.
The research pinpointed methane leaks in the LNG supply chain, spanning fracking, liquefaction, sea transportation, and power generation, as the primary contributors to environmental harm. Methane, known for its potency as a greenhouse gas, poses a particular threat.
The study highlighted that emissions from LNG during transportation alone are at least 24% higher than those from burning conventional coal, even when employing the most modern vessels and shortest shipping routes. This revelation challenges the notion that LNG is a cleaner alternative, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive assessment of its environmental impact.