International Gas Union responds to the European Investment Bank decision on fossil fuel projects
Natural gas is a clean and versatile energy source that unlocks an opportunity for the planet to reliably meet the globally growing energy demand, reducing GHG emissions and urban pollution and allowing economies to grow.
The European Investment Bank’s (EIB) decision to stop the financing of fossil fuel energy projects, which includes natural gas, stands in conflict with its parallel commitment to align financing activities with the goals of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Natural gas is an essential component of the global energy mix if there is any hope of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. It is the most flexible, abundant, and available fuel, that offers an immediate reduction in GHG emissions from higher emitting fuels that are widely burned, guarantees reliability and security of energy systems, and eliminates air pollution, all while enabling the world to lift communities out of poverty and supply safe and modern energy to where it is still in deficit.
Natural gas is ideally suited to supply energy to all key sectors in an economic and reliable way. It is a highly efficient energy source that can be used across the global economy: to generate electricity, energize essential industrial processes, heat homes and provide clean cooking and fuel transport. Furthermore, natural gas can be a practically emission-free fuel: paired with carbon capture and storage technologies, which remove 90% of the emissions, and supplemented by renewable gases which can address the remaining 10%, the picture on emissions is an incredibly positive one.
The EIB decision will have the effect of taking all of this promise off the table for many jurisdictions around the world – where there are millions of people who need more energy to fuel their economies and improve their quality of life.
The IGU expresses its strong opposition and concern to the EIB decision, as we believe that prudent policy-making should be based on effective performance objectives and guided by desired outcomes, instead of picking technologies and prematurely choosing winners and losers.