– Blogs

Asia Gas Workshop: Pathways to Cleaner Air and Net Zero Emissions

Mar 22, 2018



The World Bank held a two day workshop with World Bank Group staff and external specialists to provide a better understanding of the role of natural gas in countries in the Asia region (including China, India and South East Asia) and to explore the emerging opportunities and challenges for gas in the energy transition.

World Bank Group, Singapore – March 19-20, 2018 Event

EnergyCC, with its domain expertise in energy and finance, was Rapporteur. In addition to presentations, Q&As and expert panel sessions, EnergyCC interviewed 17 World Bank Group internal and external specialists on a specially prepared set of 84 natural gas related questions. 

In the workshop the importance of the energy context in the Asia Region was discussed.  It is widely reported that world demand for energy is growing, mainly because of Asia.  With abundance of low cost coal in the region, this now appears the fuel of choice for electrical power in many Asian countries.  However, an important and growing issue is environmental pollution and, in particular, air pollution.  More than 50% of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions is from the Asia region.  Almost 99% (or 463) cities have unhealthy levels of air quality, i.e. PM2.5 levels that are above World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines.  There are estimates that 2-5% of countries’ GDP could be lost due to low air quality and pollution. Hence, decision making on energy requires a wider perspective, including health costs, as part of the overall assessment.  China has stricter emission limits for new coal-fired power plants than the EU, US, or India.  In contrast, South East Asian countries have the most lenient emission criteria. 

The Asia Gas Workshop also explored the continued role of natural gas, as evaluated country-by-country and given the World Bank’s commitment to support client countries in securing the affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy supply needed to end poverty.  The workshop was underpinned by the need for clean air and the recognition that climate change requires priority be given to net low-carbon solutions that can be achieved through gains in energy efficiency, increased use of renewable energy, and integration of power systems. 

For the one billion people that don’t have access to electricity, initial solutions may focus on development of off-grid power systems, such as solar, wind, with storage not connected to the grid.  However, gas can play an important role, being complementary to and balancing solar and wind energy supplies when these are connected to the grid.  Gas is a symbiotic fuel to renewables in managing the “duck curve”, i.e. periods of low renewable energy supply.  The key competitor to gas-for-power is not renewables, but is coal and over time industrial-scale batteries when costs of these decline.  Beyond power, attention was also given to transport including LNG bunkering for shipping, small and large heat industries, and the built urban environment where gas may also substitute for higher carbon, more polluting fuels.

Michael Stanley, Global Lead Extractives, and responsible for the Asia Gas Workshop, said EnergyCC’s report is ‘very complete and an excellent record of the discussions that took place….it exceeded my high expectation.’

Share this article

Read Other Blogs

Opportunities to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations

Feb 29, 2024 • Oil & Gas Industry

  EnergyCC is working to reduce wasted gas emissions from oil and gas operations. It participated actively in COP26, COP27 and COP28 in collaboration with UNU-WIDER, to support the Global Methane Pledge. An overview of deliverables from publications, projects and events.   Context EnergyCC is

Read More
Countering global oil theft: responses and solutions

Mar 30, 2022 • Oil & Gas Industry

This is the second of two papers delivered to UNU WIDER to address the global issue of global oil theft. This paper evaluates recent trends and commonalities of oil theft, describes potential actions and solutions to prevent oil theft, and mitigations against its consequences.

Read More
Global oil theft: impact and policy responses

Feb 21, 2022 • Oil & Gas Industry

This is the first of two papers delivered to UNU WIDER to address the global issue of global oil theft. This paper evaluates the impact of oil theft and describes why the international community should take a stronger stance against oil theft.

Read More