January 12, 2024 [Euractiv]- Fears that Slovakia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal could end up as a stranded investment are reinforced by experts who warn that too much LNG infrastructure is being built as fossil fuels are phased out and that there is likely to be a surplus on the market after 2030.
Slovak Environment Minister Tomáš Taraba claims the country is “being forced” to urgently build a replacement infrastructure that will ensure the country’s energy stability after being disconnected from the stable energy supplies due to the sanctions against Russia.
“From the point of view of gas supply stability, we need to build infrastructure regardless of what someone might think about it. My only concern is that the technical solutions are safe. I did not invent these sanctions that have harmed us,” the minister argues.
Greenpeace has been fiercely advocating against the project since its announcement in 2021, with the organisation claiming that it goes directly against the targets in the Paris Climate Agreement.
“We cannot afford the construction of new fossil infrastructure if we want to keep the global temperature growth below 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century,” warns Greenpeace Slovakia Director Katarína Juríková.
But shutting down LNG terminals is tricky, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which warns that if existing fossil fuel infrastructure is not phased out soon, it will emit more greenhouse gases than the world can afford to keep global warming below 1.5°C by the end of the century.
This could mean that the Danube LNG terminal may end up as a stranded investment and will delay or foreclose a clean energy future, environmentalists said.
The European Parliament and the Council agreed that LNG is not expected to play an important role in the decarbonisation of inland waterway transport. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) urges caution when investing in new LNG infrastructure.
IEA says the current rapid investments in LNG infrastructure, which are a consequence of the temporary increase in demand for LNG after the interruption of Russian pipeline supplies, are oversized on a global scale.
Building too many new LNG terminals undermines the climate commitments of the EU and other countries, as well as the need for the gradual decline in demand for fossil fuels, the IEA stressed.
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