Natural Gas for Sustainable and Cleaner Energy Systems in Asia-Pacific
The Expert Group Meeting on Development and Utilization of Natural Gas for Sustainable and Cleaner Energy Systems in Asia-Pacific
The United Nations General Assembly at its 74th session in December 2019 adopted Resolution 74/225 ‘Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’. Through the Resolution 74/225 the United Nations General Assembly recognized, intel alia, the key role that natural gas currently plays in many countries. It also recognized the potential of natural gas to expand significantly over the coming decades to meet demand in some countries, as well as in new sectors, such as the transportation sector, supporting transitions towards lower-emission energy systems. The United Nations General Assembly called upon governments to enhance energy security through the sharing of best practices and knowledge for the security of gas supply and demand.
The International Energy Agency reports that global energy demand grew by 2.3 per cent in 2018, and that natural gas consumption was the main contributor to this increase, accounting for nearly 45 per cent of total energy demand growth. Nowadays the natural gas share in the global energy mix is about 22 per cent and according to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, this will reach 26 per cent in 2040. The Asia-Pacific region is considered as the main source of growth in demand for natural gas due to its booming population, GDP growth, coal to gas switch in power sector and environmental concern.
According to IEA estimations the Asia-Pacific region accounts for over half of total growth in natural gas consumption over the next five years where China alone accounts for 42 per cent of global demand growth and 74 per cent of Asian demand growth. There are opportunities for both gas pipeline and LNG expansion in Asian region depending on geographical, political, economic and environmental factors.
Natural gas plays a major role across multiple sectors of the modern economy — including power generation, industrial, commercial, and residential applications. Also, natural gas is becoming increasingly accessible to consumers in different regions due to increasing LNG capacities and small-scale LNG.
The workshop will contribute to the preparation of the regional study on the role of natural gas in achieving SDG7. The discussion will support a better understanding of the social, economic, and environmental impacts of expanding the use of natural gas, in particular LNG, in the fuel mix of the Asian countries. It is expected to provide guidance and direction to identify priorities for the regional study.