Shale Gas & Climate Change at Chatham House Nov. 2013

Nov. 2013 Shale Gas & Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change  Chatham House. London

Session on Rethinking Energy: the impact of unconventional production.
Other speakers, from Kathryn Klaber previous CEO of the Macrellus Shale Coalition to Dan Byles MP, chair of the All-party parliamentary group on unconventional oil and gas, detailed the benefits of shale gas, but with only fleeting mention of climate change. My presentation painted a different story – particularly for the wealthier (Annex 1) nations. Shale gas exploitation and use are not compatible with repeated obligations on 2°C; moreover there is insufficient emission space, even within the UK government’s much weaker budgets and  targets (i.e. greater than 2°C), for shale gas to play other than a very minor role.

As the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s own chief scientist, Professor David MacKay made clear in his recent report on shale gas:

“If a country brings any additional fossil fuel reserve into production, then in the absence of strong climate policies, we believe it is likely that this production would increase cumulative emissions in the long run. This increase would work against global efforts on climate change.”    


For further Tyndall work on climate change, see:

Tyndall submission to the Energy and Climate Change committee.

UK unveils Office of unconventional gas & oil – another nail in the climate change coffin

A more detailed account is available in:
Shale gas:an updated assessment of the environmental & climate change impacts (chapter 3 for the climate change focus)

An example of how shale gas is likely to be add to global fossil fuel reserves and not be a substitute for coal can be found at:
Has US shale gas reduced CO2 emissions?