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European gas industry calls for binding greenhouse gas reduction target

The European gas industry has made a breakthrough for carbon neutrality by calling for a binding 20 per cent greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity reduction target and an 11 per cent EU-wide binding target on renewable gas by 2030. Through these targets, both Eurogas and the European Biogas Association are committed to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and supports the EU’s ambition to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

According to the associations, gas – natural, renewable and decarbonised – will play a decisive role in the decarbonisation efforts of every sector, including buildings, industry, power and mobility as well as agriculture.

“A climate-neutral Europe by 2050 is possible if we pursue all available options without prejudice,” said James Watson, Eurogas Secretary General. “Europe must maintain its leading position on clean gas technologies to deliver on carbon neutrality, as well as, relaunch the economy, secure jobs and ensure investor certainty. A clear target on gas GHG intensity reduction and on renewable gases is indispensable to achieving these objectives and delivering climate neutrality.”

Eurogas is calling for a binding EU target on gas demand for the reduction of the GHG intensity of gas. By 2030 the GHG intensity of the gaseous energy consumed in the EU shall be reduced by at least 20 per cent compared to 2018 levels, through the use of renewable and decarbonised gases. Eurogas also supports the introduction in European legislation of a binding 2030 EU target on demand for renewable gases of at least 11 per cent in terms of energy content of gas consumed.

To be eligible, each renewable and decarbonised gas typology production pathway must comply with appropriate sustainability and emission reduction criteria in line with RED II and future European legislation. Furthermore, in order to avoid a disproportionate administrative burden, a list of greenhouse gas emissions savings (Life Cycle) should be laid down for common gas typologies production pathways and that list should be updated and expanded when further reliable data are available.

The proposed targets are based on the results of the recent Eurogas study A Pathway to a Carbon Neutral 2050: The Role of Gas, according to which all EU Member States, many of which are pioneers in renewable and decarbonised gas development and production, shall define their individual national contributions towards the target by mid-2024.

“There is a great potential for renewable gases in Europe and we can scale-up the production of biomethane as of today but we need a binding EU target to ensure a Union-wide deployment of renewable gas,” agreed Susanna Pflüger, European Biogas Association Secretary General. “This will contribute to carbon-neutrality and bring along multiple other benefits, such as rural development, a more circular economy and thousands of sustainable jobs.” 

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