IGU study reveals key contribution of natural gas to cut air pollution

IGU study reveals key contribution of natural gas to cut air pollution

A new report from the International Gas Union (IGU) highlights how the increased use of natural gas in power generation, heating and transport can significantly reduce air pollution a direct cause of around 400,000 deaths across the EU in 2012. Urban air pollution has become a top priority for local, national and international governments in both developed and developing countries as they seek to reduce severe effects on human health. Cities around the world are increasingly galvanized to take action to reduce the environmental, health and economic impact of air emissions.

The new research also highlights the correlation between reducing air pollutants and the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The report highlights case studies in Berlin, Dublin, Krakow and Rotterdam, where both greenhouse gas emissions and air quality have been significantly improved by increased use of natural gas for inner city transportation. The study examines policies, such as fuel switching initiatives, that have led, or are leading to, real progress in improving air quality without sacrificing economic development.

“Air pollution is a significant threat to the environment and human health. The action taken in Berlin, Dublin, Krakow and Rotterdam demonstrates the central role of gas in improving air quality in urban areas. As these case studies demonstrate, switching from coal to gas-fired power is often the fastest and most cost-effective approach to improve air quality and reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change,” said David Carroll, President of the IGU.

In 2014, the lifespan of a Rotterdam resident was three years shorter than the average Dutch citizen due to the high levels of air pollution. Many of the city’s air pollution challenges stem from port operations, port-related traffic and nearby industrial facilities. The Rotterdam Climate Initiative (RCI) was introduced in 2010 and aims to improve air quality in the port, the city and the surrounding industrial areas. Rotterdam started LNG bunkering operations in August 2016 and is planning to have three LNG fueling berths installed by the end of 2016. Switching to LNG in the port can reduce NOx emissions by up to 90% and SOx and PM emissions by up to 100%.

Martin Lutz, Senate Department for Urban Development and Environment, Head of Sector Air Quality Management, Berlin, said: “Having promoted gas for decades as a clean fuel in particular for residential heating, we are now focusing on CNG vehicles as a clean and mature technology alternative to diesel in order to meet the air quality standards also in trafficked roads. While we’ve reached a decent density of CNG stations we still need a broader variety of gas-vehicle models offered by Auto Industry.”


Share Button