Natural gas and climate change

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Natural gas has been presented as a “bridging fuel” that can play an important role in facilitating the transition to a low carbon economy, complementing a significant increase in the utilisation of renewable energy sources. This report reviews recent research on methane emissions and the relative lifecycle carbon intensity of a range of potential natural gas sources. It quantifies carbon budgets and the maximum level of EU natural gas consumption compatible with the Paris Agreement. We find that carbon dioxide from combustion is the dominant contributor to the long-term climate change impact of natural gas. In order to meet its Paris 2°C commitment the EU needs over 12% p.a. mitigation, starting immediately. As such, fossil fuels (including natural gas) have no substantial role in an EU 2°C energy system beyond 2035.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Manchester
Commissioning bodyFriends of the Earth Europe
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2017