Carbon pathways in the global gas market: An attributional lifecycle assessment of the climate impacts of liquefied natural gas exports from the United States to Asia

Gilbert, Alexander Q and Sovacool, Benjamin K (2018) Carbon pathways in the global gas market: An attributional lifecycle assessment of the climate impacts of liquefied natural gas exports from the United States to Asia. Energy Policy, 120. pp. 635-643. ISSN 0301-4215

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Abstract

While the United States is poised to become a major exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), relatively little attention has been paid to greenhouse gas emission impacts from exporting US natural gas to Asia, a key likely destination. Using bounding scenarios of attributional lifecycle analysis, this study finds that the climate impacts of US exports to China, Japan, India, or South Korea could vary significantly, with annual global lifecycle emissions ranging from -88,000 metric tons CO2e to +170,000 metric tons CO2e per Bcf of exports. Exact emissions will depend on factors such as (a) the final end-use of the LNG, (b) domestic market impacts from increased natural gas prices in the U.S., (c) induced additional energy consumption in importing countries, and (d) methane leakage rates. Country specific GHG outcomes can differ from global GHG outcomes, with major implications for extraction and consumption based emissions accounting. The study’s results indicate the need for more robust consideration of the climate impacts of all energy exports in terms of country specific energy analyses, global climate regulations, and market uncertainty. Thus, how gas is governed becomes of critical importance, for it will determine whether LNG is a net sink or source of additional emissions.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Ellie Leftley
Date Deposited: 29 May 2018 11:40
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/76192

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