IMO Findings Condemn LNG as Maritime Fuel

An international regulatory body for the shipping industry is finding that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is merely a “complicated and ultimately unproductive shift from one fossil fuel to another.”

Meanwhile, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is poised to issue a key permit to the Puget Sound Energy LNG project on the basis that it’s better for the environment than doing nothing at all.  The International Maritime Organization, which will be putting in place greenhouse gas emission standards for shipping worldwide, is finding the exact opposite:

  • “Numerous studies show LNG’s GHG footprint is either comparable to that of MGO (the cleanest oil-based marine fuel) or worse.”
  • “…new research also indicates that fugitive methane emissions in natural gas extraction, processing, and distribution activities are much higher than previously calculated, further weakening the environmental case for LNG.”
  • “LNG is still a fossil fuel and as such has no long-term future if the Paris Agreement goals, which assume emissions go to zero, are to be met.”
  • “Even if LNG’s methane leakage and slip issues were to be resolved, the widespread adoption of methane as a marine fuel would result in extensive stranded assets as shipping decarbonizes and other zero-emission fuels take over.”
  • “Instead of engaging in a complicated and ultimately unproductive shift from one fossil fuel to another, activities under the IMO GHG Strategy should focus on delivering short-term emission reductions in the existing fleet and speeding up the development of genuine low carbon fuels and the roll out of zero emission vessels.”

An LNG facility in Tacoma, or anywhere for that matter, continues to make less and less sense.

Read the whole IMO working group report: