Dr Paul Balcombe discusses the climate risks of LNG on DW Planet A

28 March 2024

Dr Paul Balcombe on DW Planet A's video
Dr Paul Balcombe on DW Planet A's video

Dr Paul Balcombe, a SEMS Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering and Renewable Energy, studies emissions from supply chains and tries to find ways of reducing green house emissions and the use of fossil fuels whilst improving quality of life.

He was invited to speak to DW news about Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and whether it really is an eco-friendly option. The video looks at the supply chain for LNG, which relies on international shipping.

“There’s been this assumption that transporting liquefied natural gas on these massive cargo ships is extremely low emissions and I think we’re just understanding in the last couple of years that maybe that’s not quite so true” he said.

“The big problem with methane emissions is that it’s a very potent greenhouse gas, you only need very small amounts of methane emissions to have a big climate impact.

Companies haven’t really been required to measure their own emissions, so we just don’t really have the data until relatively recently until academics and other organisations have started getting on these ships to go and collect some of the methane emissions data.”

The video looked at his 2022 paper ‘Total methane and CO2 emissions from LNH carrier ships: the first primary measurements’, which found that more methane than previously thought slipped through an LNG ship’s engines.

Paul concluded, “It’s better, but is it good enough? The answer invariably is ‘no, it’s not good enough to meet our climate targets.’… Out of all the fossil fuel categories, it seems that LNG may well be the last one that we rely on.”

Contact:Ayden Wilkes