To reduce emissions and provide affordable electricity, the world needs to burn more fossil fuels, not less.
That’s the message being delivered by the world’s biggest energy companies at the World Gas Conference in Washington, where they championed natural gas as the fuel of the future rather than one that simply bridges the gap toward renewables.
The world is facing the twin challenge of growing power supply—which Royal Dutch Shell says needs to increase five times over the next 50 years—and reducing emissions to meet climate change targets. Energy companies see gas doing double duty: It has half the carbon emissions of coal when used in power generation, is abundant, and is relatively inexpensive.
The “big challenge for us in the industry is helping people recognize gas as a destination fuel, not just a transition fuel,” BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said during a panel discussion. “There’s another camp, a surprising camp, that is intent on discrediting gas as an option.”
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