Firstly, oil and gas:
Followed by electricity generation:
What about agriculture?
And the construction industry?
The food and beverage industries?
And the textile industries?
GHG emissions from energy supply can be reduced significantly by replacing current world average coal‐fired power plants with modern, highly efficient natural gas combined‐cycle power plants or combined heat and power plants, provided that natural gas is available and the fugitive emissions associated with extraction and supply are low or mitigated (robust evidence, high agreement). In mitigation scenarios reaching about 450 ppm CO2eq concentrations by 2100, natural gas power generation without CCS acts as a bridge technology, with deployment increasing before peaking and falling to below current levels by 2050 and declining further in the second half of the century (robust evidence, high agreement).This is a very strong statement. Not only must natural gas electricity generation stay at current levels, but its deployment must increase in the near term, with the amount of natural gas-fired power generation only returning to and dropping below current levels by 2050, almost 4 decades from now. This is true regardless of whether carbon capture technology is deployed at gas-fired plants. Development of CCS would further increase the need for gas:
Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) technologies could reduce the lifecycle GHG emissions of fossil fuel power plants (medium evidence, medium agreement).Note that the report categorises how strong the evidence, and the degree of consensus, for each statement it makes. These statements on natural gas have robust evidence, and a high level of agreement.
For Lucas, the big problem with fracking has nothing to do with the risk that it will cause earthquakes, contaminate the water table or pollute the soil. In fact, she thinks it possible that stringent regulations could minimise those risks. "It's not that fracking itself is necessarily worse than ordinary gas extraction. It's the fact that we're just about to put into place a whole new infrastructure for a whole new fossil-fuel industry, at exactly the time when we need to be reducing our emissions." The problem, in other words, is climate change.I've long been of the opinion that, at the upper levels of various NGOs and political groups, the primary opposition to shale gas is derived from a the climate change angle, not local pollution. The scare stories about earthquakes and pollution are a stalking horse for the real issue. Climate change concerns are unlikely to mobilise local support in any significant way, hence the need to exaggerate local impacts in order to foment local opposition. It's refreshing that Caroline Lucas has come clean about this.