Reliance on natural gas poses risks to country’s climate and health goals: Report

Gas is currently the main source of energy supply in Bangladesh, however, its future reliance comes with critical climate, environmental, health and economic costs, according to a new analysis from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

The analysis shows that by 2040, emissions from the production and transport of LNG could constitute the bulk of the 95% of emissions for which Bangladesh is responsible.

This is explained by the abandonment of national production in favor of gas imports. Additionally, if emissions are not properly managed across the gas value chain, methane can be just as bad, or even worse, than coal for its climate impact.

The US-based organization said this comes at a time when the country and its people are experiencing devastating and disproportionate climate impacts and expressed their desire to support the Global Methane Pledge – in which signatory countries have pledged to reduce the super powerful greenhouse effect. gas by 30% by 2030.

According to the analysis, Bangladesh continues to consume more natural gas than it can produce, so it is increasingly relying on imported LNG to fill this gap. Currently, more than 80% of Bangladesh’s gas consumption comes from LNG imports.

In 2020, Bangladesh procured more than 4.3 million tonnes of LNG, and as gas demand is expected to increase, LNG imports are expected to increase 50 times between 2019 and 2040.

Emissions impacting imports from Bangladesh through 2040 are estimated at between 390 and 900 MtCO2e, equivalent to over 100 coal-fired power plants.

The analysis includes key findings on emissions, observed trends and possible trajectories under different energy scenarios using estimates derived from the Oil and Gas Index (OCI+), which leverages satellite data and publicly available data, technical data on oil and gas resources and operations, assess the methane intensity of various oil and gas resources throughout their life cycle.

Bangladesh expressed its intention to reduce methane emissions in its National Action Plan for the Reduction of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in 2018.

He further expressed support for, but is not yet a participant in, a groundbreaking global methane pledge in 2021 at the Major Economies Energy and Climate Forum.

Currently planned expansions in LNG could conflict with these national and international commitments.

LNG is a major source of methane, which has a global warming potential 84 times that of CO2 over a 20-year period.

Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director at the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said: “It is clear from the analysis that gas, whether in the form of natural gas or LNG, has multidimensional adverse effects on environment and health as well as Presenting gas/LNG as a “cleaner” form of energy or as a “transitional” form of energy is an attempt to withhold the full facts about gas/LNG LNG. »

“Perhaps more than ever, methane matters to countries like Bangladesh and the world. This is because methane emissions are closely linked to the production of fossil fuels and the risks of reliance on fossil fuels have become far too costly,” said Frances Reuland, senior partner at RMI. and author of the analysis.

In addition, the planned expansion of LNG poses several health risks. Throughout the value chain, there are risks associated with burning the gas due to the toxins it emits into the atmosphere. Children and residents living near gas infrastructure are among the most exposed to LNG-related health problems.

Therefore, moving away from dependence on natural gas and fossil fuels is essential for the stability, health and well-being of the country. Bangladesh is already one of the ten most air polluted countries, and the health toll of air pollution weighs heavily on the Bangladeshi economy.