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How an American LNG export pause could increase global carbon emissions

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


Illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Forbes or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: President Biden's recent announcement of a temporary pause on pending approvals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the U.S. has sparked a significant debate
• This pause is primarily driven by climate change concerns and the need to assess the impact of LNG exports on domestic energy prices and availability

🔭 The context: The U.S. recently became the world's largest LNG exporter. The pause aims to review the environmental implications of LNG infrastructure expansion and its potential to lock in fossil fuel dependence
• It also reflects political considerations, as the Biden administration seeks to address the concerns of young and climate-focused voters

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: LNG, while cleaner than coal, still emits greenhouse gases. The U.S.'s shift from coal to natural gas for power production has significantly reduced its carbon emissions
• However, pausing LNG exports could inadvertently lead to prolonged coal dependence in countries like India and China, potentially increasing global carbon emissions

⏭️ What's next: The Department of Energy (DOE) will conduct a thorough review of the potential impacts of LNG exports. This process, which includes public input, will determine the future of LNG export policies in the U.S. and could influence global energy markets and carbon emission trends.

💬 One quote: "Natural gas can enable coal-dependent countries to slash carbon emissions much faster than could be achieved with renewables."

📈 One stat: "U.S. carbon emissions decreased by 879 million metric tons, or 14%, largely due to the displacement of coal by natural gas in power production."

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