In an article published today in the Financial Times, Mr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, has observed that natural gas is not expanding within the world energy mix as the IEA had predicted.
Mr Birol cites two reasons:
1. Subdued global economic activity.
2. Political support for renewable energy technologies, as confirmed by the Paris climate change agreement, which makes it, in Mr Birol’s words “difficult for gas to compete”.
Unsurprisingly, this is driving many countries to cheap coal which will actually increase rather than decrease global CO2 emissions: “Particularly in Asia, people are still going for coal fired power stations as they are cheaper,” Mr Birol acknowledged.
As the GWPF has repeatedly pointed out, current climate and green energy policies are not only burdening economies and lowering economic growth, they also hold back a move to an attainable cleaner energy mix, with a larger element of natural gas — despite falling gas prices.