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OUR TAKE: Will a New Natural Gas Line honor the Paris Agreement?

According to a recent article on Bloomberg.com,  German Chancellor Angela Merkel is favoring  a new Liquefied Natural Gas Line (LNG), the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia. We all know that Germany is cold in winter. It gets a third of its natural gas heating needs from Russia, a market share Russia wants to maintain or grow. A proposed new gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, just won Merkel’s approval, which upsets Poland because the link would bypass Poland and Ukraine, which would both lose transit fees.

 

The 1,220 kilometer (758-mile) Nord Stream 2 undersea link to Germany initiated by Russia in 2015.  Source: Gazprom

Competing suppliers including Norway and the U.S. want to increase their market share. European Union (EU) countries worry about over dependence on Russia for gas supplies, and what the new link would do to EU energy diversification objectives under the Paris Agreement. All very complicated, and whatever happens, there will be some discord. Germany’s support increases the probability that the Nord Stream 2 link will be built. It doesn’t appear as if anyone is thinking ahead to the transition already underway from high-carbon fossil fuels to lower-carbon ones and renewables. LNG is relatively low-carbon, but will it retain its share in Europe’s energy mix over the coming decades? Nor does it seem as if anyone is pondering the impact of the new LNG link on Germany’s and Poland’s large coal-based energy sectors.

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  1. Some decisions made by leaders around this world are morally hurting or seriously impacting the lives of some people, animals and by extension, contribute negatively to Climate Change. “A proposed new gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, just won Merkel’s approval, which upsets Poland because the link would bypass Poland and Ukraine, which would both lose transit fees.” Re-education of the dangers of Global Warming must be actively done on a daily basis to ensure everyone conforms positively to making a significant difference with providing care for our Earth. We need to completely move away from carbon and other aerosols that can further pollute this world. Human lives are at stake everyday. In closing, is there another human-friendly resource that can be sought by Germany? The decisions of elected leaders should intricately embrace the protection of mother Earth.

  2. Jason, thanks for your comments. I agree that human and environmental factors ought to play a larger part in leaders’ decision-making. Too often the economic and political considerations swamp all else. To meet its Paris commitments, the EU has to make some hard choices. Coal-mining regions will face disruption and retrenchment. Governments must invest in both human and regional development to ease the transition for the people living in these areas. Governments must continue and amplify their support for renewable sources of energy, principally solar, wind, and hydro. They can — and some have — mandate the end of both diesel and petrol-based internal combustion engine vehicles. They can support the development on an industrial scale the capture and sequestration of carbon CCS). And governments can foster development of zero emission vehicles (ZEVS) fueled by hydrogen, a technology which is on the horizon. Also EU governments should redouble their efforts to preserve and expand their shrinking forests. Europe’s developed economies are responsible for roughly a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. see the report here: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Greenhouse_gas_emission_statistics_-_carbon_footprints
    If the Paris Agreement targets are to be met, Europe must do it’s share even though it will be costly in human and economic terms. Building a new LNG pipeline can be considered a step toward that goal if and only if it is accompanied by other measures to move the EU toward honoring its Paris commitment.

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