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Talk of carbon-neutral LNG is fake news, says Carbon Market Watch

TALK of carbon-neutral LNG is all fake news, argues Wijnand Stoefs, shipping policy officer at Carbon Market Watch, reports Singapore's Splash 247

24 March 2021 - 19:00
TALK of carbon-neutral LNG is all fake news, argues Wijnand Stoefs, shipping policy officer at Carbon Market Watch, reports Singapore's Splash 247.

So-called carbon-neutral liquefied natural gas (LNG) is greenwashing and wrong at many levels, said Mr Stoefs.



What's forgotten about LNG is that it is sold together with carbon offsets to supposedly compensate for the climate destruction caused by the production, transport and consumption of the gas itself.



This practice is absurd and illogical, said Mr Stoefs. Take last year's shipment from Total to CNOOC, which bought carbon credits from a Chinese wind farm to compensate for their own continued trade in fossil fuels.



This particular wind farm was built a decade ago, meaning that the credits did nothing to actually reduce emissions when the deal was signed nor will they do so in the future, said the report.



In this story, a fossil fuel giant is trying to encourage others to switch to renewables while sticking to its own highly polluting business model, it said.



Cheap renewable energy carbon offset credits are not the only product on the market. In fact, the above-mentioned deal also includes credits from forestry, which are at least as problematic, said the Splash 247 report.



Planting or protecting trees to justify burning fossil fuels basically means that one shifts carbon from very secure storage sites - fossil underground - to highly vulnerable and reversible ones - trees in a forest.



There is currently no consensus on how to calculate the total lifecycle emissions of an LNG shipment. In many cases, companies don't mention how many credits they have purchased to offset their emissions. the report said.



One estimate puts the total emissions from all 2019 LNG shipments at around 1.5GtCO2e. We're talking about 1.5 billion carbon offsets needed to compensate for all that pollution, said the report.


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