“Environmental nonsense” — SWR explained why LNG from the US harms the climate more Russian gas

By 2023, Germany plans to build four new terminals for receiving liquefied gas from the USA. Supporters of the project talk about reducing dependence on Russian supply and a relatively low harm to the climate, but in fact, from the point of view of ecology LNG terminals is bullshit, the correspondent of German TV channel SWR. According to him, transportation of liquefied natural gas causes much more damage to the environment than delivery by pipeline from Russia.

«Экологический бред» — SWR объяснил, почему СПГ из США вредит климату больше российских газопроводов

Reuters”Environmental nonsense: new terminals for liquefied natural gas” — under this title he published his article the journalist Thomas Hillebrandt on the website of the German TV channel SWR.

In 2023, on the coast of the Baltic and North seas have to be built four new terminals for liquefied natural gas, but is there any sense from the point of view of ecology? The Minister of economy of Germany, Altmaier actively insists on the vast investment. At brunsbüttel, Stade, Wilhelmshaven and Rostock, where construction is planned, also favors the construction of terminals for LNG.

Meanwhile, the German Association for the protection of the environment Deutsche Umwelthilfe not less actively and resolutely opposes this and invites everyone to the press conference to share his vision of the situation, the correspondent of SWR. In his remark, around liquefied natural gas a raging conflict, which has economic, environmental and, primarily, political considerations.

Some say about sparing the climate the process of energy transfer, the other on the support are harmful to the nature of the energy source. For some, it is a cost-effective reduction of dependency on individual suppliers, while others see it as not having the right permit installation with high disaster potential.

Both parties say about the same, but almost the opposite things, the author of the article. The origins of this conflict, he said, is the largest gas pipeline “Nord stream” with a length of over 1200 km, through which Russian gas in 2011 goes through the Baltic sea in Mecklenburg-Front Pomerania and from there be pumped further, in all the Western European gas network.

Currently under construction in the framework of the project “Northern stream — 2”, which pleases Russia, Germany, and involved in the process of the company and causes resentment of the former countries of transit of Russian gas — such as Ukraine, but also Poland and the Baltic States, who are afraid of losing their income from fees for transit, says the publication.

Seriously unhappy with this development and the United States who fear for their political influence in the region. President trump even wants to check the possibility to introduce punitive measures and stated as much in his manner: “We defend Germany from Russia, and Russia receives billions of dollars from Germany. We have something much better.”

So, the game entered a planned liquefied natural gas terminals on the coast of Northern and Baltic seas, for which so has insisted economy Minister Altmaier and who strongly reject different groups of defenders of environment in Germany.

The fact that Donald trump has continued his idea as follows: “we Have a huge amount of liquefied natural gas”. This refers to liquefied natural gas, LNG is short, which consists primarily of methane, translated into a liquid state by cooling to -160 °C. After that, LNG is only six hundredth of the volume of natural gas, that is, takes up much less space that allows to transport it in large tankers with extreme cold.

Therefore, proponents of the construction of the terminal argue that is a profitable investment in the security of energy supply, decreasing dependence on Russian gas supplies. In addition, on the background of the rejection of coal liquefied natural gas could be an additional method of acquiring energy, sparing the climate.

It sounds good, but it is not true, insist the opponents of the construction of LNG terminals. From their point of view, the planned construction of the terminal is not that other, as a political concession to the United States, who thus get a market for his divisive “precingular” gas, so in return they turned a blind eye to the “Nord stream”.

Opponents of liquefied natural gas have objections against the fact that LNG is not so much harm climate, says SWR. They indicate that the extraction and processing stage in the liquid state and the transportation of LNG releasing large amounts of methane, and it is much worse for the atmosphere in terms of the worsening of the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide emissions.

In addition, you need a lot of energy in order to continuously maintain the gas in chilled condition. Even the scientific service of the Bundestag in their study noted that under the most optimistic scenarios, LNG imports leads to much higher emissions of greenhouse gases than the most pessimistic scenarios, the gas import from Russia.

Thus, the gas supply pipeline cause a lot less harm to the climate than the transport of liquefied gas by tankers from the USA, Qatar or Australia, concludes the correspondent of the SWR.

So in the case of four scheduled terminals on the coast of Northern and Baltic seas for tankers with gas we are talking, primarily, about politics and a little about the security and reliability of energy supply, and definitely not about the environmental benefits of this method of supply. The Minister of economy Altmayer should just say it, and then carefully listen, what do you say to critics of the project, advises the author.
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