Workshop on the Role of Natural Gas in Achieving SDG7 and the Paris Agreement

8 Nov 2019
Bangkok, Asia Pacific
Open meeting

Background and Rationale

Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all together with the Paris Agreement set a very clear target for countries towards clean energy future. Renewables are the fastest growing energy source in the world, but fossil fuels remain their space in energy forecasts. Natural gas produces 25–30% and 40– 45% less carbon dioxide per joule delivered than oil and coal respectively. Reducing CO2 emissions through a shift from coal to natural gas power plants is a key strategy to support pathways for climate stabilization. Natural gas is considered to serve as a bridge fuel towards achieving SDG7 and the Paris Agreement. IEA reports that global energy demand grew by 2.3% in 2018, natural gas consumption was the main contributor to this increase, accounting for nearly 45% of total energy demand growth. In 2018 natural gas demand grew by 4.6%. Nowadays natural gas share in global energy mix is about 22% and according to GECF will reach 26% in 2040. Natural gas plays a major role across multiple sectors of the modern economy — including power generation, industrial, commercial, and residential applications. Also, gas is becoming increasingly accessible to consumers in different regions due to increasing LNG capacities and small-scale LNG. Today’s technologies enable innovations such as floating gas-fueled power stations, and floating terminals for the liquefaction and regasification of natural gas. All this makes connecting to on-shore infrastructure significantly easier and accelerates the development of LNG. According to GECF estimations the share of LNG trade with reach about 45% of global gas trade by 2040. Asia-Pacific region is considered as a main source of growth in demand for natural gas due to booming population and GDP growth, leading to energy demand accompanied by an increasing focus on air quality and environmental issues. According to IEA estimations Asia-Pacific region accounts for over half of total growth in natural gas consumption over the next five years where China alone accounts for 42% of global demand growth and 74% of growth in Asia. There opportunities for both pipeline and LNG expansion in Asian region depending on geographical, political, economical and environmental factors. A growing number of countries in Asia have expressed interest in developing LNG facilities to increase the share of gas in their energy mix. And there is even a potential for Asia to become modern gas hub.

The workshop will bring together government representatives, business and academic society to discuss the role of natural gas in building sustainable and cleaner energy systems and, in particular in providing access to clean fuels and technologies in power, industry, transport and residential sectors for power generation, renewable energy integration and clean cooking to improve energy efficiency, and reduce emissions.