Natural Gas – An Aid to the Forests and the Poor

The co-head of the UN sustainable energy programmed stated that natural gas and non-traditional shale gas should feature a pivotal role in lowering greenhouse emissions, preserving forests, and raising the poor’s health and living standards around the globe.

The U.N.’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative’s goals would be difficult to achieve without natural gas aid. The UN initiative aims to ensure universal energy access, doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and the world’s share of renewable energy by the year 2030.

Natural gas is vital for saving forests and virtually impossible without it. It is one of the answers to solve the problem of increasing deforestation and lowering the number of deaths arising from indoor pollution using firewood.

Kandeh Yumkella, the head of the UN Industrial Development Organization, is aware that his support for natural gas is controversial. However, the statistics show no other option. Providing electricity to 1.3 billion people by 2030 will require around $43 billion, which is an insurmountable figure.

Many UN conference members, known as Rio+20, saw natural gas’s inclusion in the initiative as an obstacle. The burning of natural gas releases carbon dioxide, which is primarily responsible for global warming. Some members believe that Yumkella’s panel is dominated by people speaking for the big power industries. Yet others believe that natural gas may be a solution for the short term; however, it will not resolve the issue in the long term.

There is much wariness after countries have failed to deliver the promises made in the 1992 Earth Summit and the Kyoto Climate Change Protocols.

Rich nations are worried that new energy policies might cripple them while developing nations are worried that they will prove insufficient to rise out of poverty. A global initiative is bound to fail if it does not consider the people while addressing poverty. The inclusion of natural gas is seen as a move for privatisation instead of community-owned energy systems.

Shale gas is a relevant option with the right research and development so that it is less polluting than other forms. Part of the initiative also aims for reducing the burned off or flamed gas for the dearth of a reliable market or pipeline.

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