Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions associated with natural gas and coal in different geographical contexts

4 October 2016

Natural gas could play an increasingly important role in meeting the Paris Agreement’s target to keep the increase of average global temperatures below 2°C by 2100. In fact, compared to a typical new coal plant, natural gas emits 50 to 60 per cent less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new efficient natural gas power plant. However, the gas industry is challenged by GHG emissions over the lifecycle of the entire gas value chain. Some claim that the intrinsic benefits of gas may be limited or even negated by upstream methane emissions, and, in the case of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the extra energy required for liquefaction.

Total has mandated the International Reference Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG) to “establish and compare the life cycle GHG emissions of natural gas and coal from different sources (conventional and unconventional) and geographical contexts in order to produce electricity in Europe and Asia".


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