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Gas infrastructure operators support 2040 Emissions Reduction Target & Industrial Carbon Management Communication


07 Feb 2024


Climate & Environment

Today, the European Commission published two initiatives set to bring Europe closer to its decarbonisation and security of supply objectives. They unveil levers to increase the efficiency and speed of the energy transition. Gas infrastructure operators are determined to support the EU in delivering its climate targets, increasing industrial competitiveness, and improving energy resilience. But we also need assistance in our transition to reach a 90% net greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2040 compared to 1990 levels.

GIE is the voice of the gas infrastructure operators of Europe which work and innovate with LNG terminals, underground storages and transmission pipelines. The association has 68 members from 25 countries. Here are their statements.

“Our industry is already investing in new infrastructures for future needs while repurposing existing infrastructure to transport renewable and low-carbon gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen. This approach not only ensures supply security but also supports the shift towards sustainability. EU gas infrastructure is not only a bridge; it's part of the long-term solution. The 90% target requires even more energy to be transported from renewable production areas to consumers, and storages to balance the intermittent renewable production with the flatter consumption patterns. We fully commit to the EU's net-zero emission goal as our infrastructure will be available for renewable and low-carbon gases."
Torben Brabo, GIE President

‘’We welcome Europe’s 2040 climate target and CCUS ambitions outlined by the European Commission today. Gas infrastructure is playing a pivotal role in accelerating the transition to a sustainable and secure future. Europe should build on synergies between molecules and electrons. To unlock the full potential of renewable and low-carbon gases for decarbonisation and security of supply, Europe needs to support the industry with investments and an adapted policy framework.
Boyana Achovski, GIE Secretary General

"It’s good to see Carbon Capture and Storage and Utilisation (CCUS) recognised as indispensable tools to achieve the 2040 target. It will also play a role in 2030 and 2050. Gas infrastructure operators understand this pivotal role and are already on it. A regulatory framework is required, striking a balance between the need to clarify regulatory elements like Third-Party Access or unbundling rules on one side and providing flexibility adapted to a new, emerging market on the other side.’’
Arno Büx, GIE Board & CCUS Area Sponsor

"Europe’s gas infrastructure operators welcome the projected increase in the use of bioenergy by 2040, mainly driven by advanced liquid biofuels and biomethane. Biomethane is a primary green alternative to fossil fuels. It will support the EU institutions' objective of ensuring the security of supply while providing predictability for deploying the best available, cost-effective, and scalable technologies. It will contribute to decarbonising targeted sectors such as transportation, industry, and buildings, thereby significantly contributing to the EU's ambition to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.”
Pierre Duvieusart, GIE Board & Biomethane Area Sponsor

---------EU policies Focus---------

About Recommendation for 2040 emissions reduction target
The 2040 GHG reduction recommendation outlines the European Commission's vision and strategies for achieving a 2040 climate target as an intermediate target on its path to climate neutrality by 2050. It emphasises the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for the impacts of climate change. It will be put into a legislative proposal by the next Commission after the European elections. With the right policy framework and adapted support scheme, renewable and low-carbon gases can be responsible for an important share of this reduction. Hydrogen and its infrastructure will play a key role to transport, store and import significant amounts of energy, contributing to the decarbonisation of our economy. Along the way, it is essential to recognise the key contribution of biomethane to decarbonising different end-use sectors in Europe and facilitating GHG emissions reduction and supporting industry actors to deliver the 35 bcm target fixed by the European Commission in the context of REPowerEU.

About Industrial Carbon Management Communication
It is a key tool to achieve the different targets set by the European Commission in 2030, 2040, and 2050. It reflects the key role of infrastructure within the CCUS value chain. As for natural gas, electricity, and hydrogen, infrastructure is an enabler to nurture the market. It enables the long-distance transport of CO2 from the emitter to the storage site or the utilisation facility. It is important that all countries have access to such an interconnected COnetwork, including landlocked countries. This geographical dimension also requires a European approach towards network planning, while regional approaches are important to consider. While CO2 is not identical to natural gas or hydrogen infrastructure, we can learn from best practices from these infrastructures. This requires establishing an appropriate regulatory framework, also addressed in the communication. A regulatory framework is required, striking a balance between clarifying regulatory elements like Third-Party Access or unbundling rules on one side and providing flexibility adapted to a new, emerging market on the other.

---------About gas infrastructure---------

Renewable and Low-Carbon Gases:
The gas infrastructure industry's missions revolve around fostering an efficient and inclusive transition, collaborating with the electricity sector, and supporting integrated visions between gas and electricity. Key objectives include optimising the use of existing infrastructure, reducing emissions, and ensuring the security of supply with future-proof solutions. Significant progress has been made by the industry in supporting renewable and low-carbon gases such as biomethane and hydrogen and this commitment should be further encouraged.

Emissions Reduction:
The gas infrastructure industry actively works to reduce emissions through data-driven approaches. While gas infrastructure accounts for only 0.5% of methane emissions in Europe, the industry encourages global standards to ensure a level playing field and promote renewable and low-carbon gas production. Supporting the development of technologies for methane emissions monitoring and mitigation speeds up emissions reduction. Worldwide methane standards will drive sustainability and benefit renewable and low-carbon gas production globally.

Ensure Cost-Effective Solutions:
The gas infrastructure industry believes in letting the market decide the cheapest pathways to meet decarbonisation objectives. By providing infrastructure for renewable and low-carbon gases, Europe can adapt to energy demand changes while ensuring cost-effective and secure supply.


Editorial notes

Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators. GIE members are active in transmission, storage, and regasification via LNG terminals of natural, renewable and low-carbon gases, including biomethane and hydrogen. Gathering 68 industry entities from 25 European countries, GIE perfectly embodies the multiple transitional decarbonisation pathways of the EU regions. The association’s vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens and industries to benefit from a secure, efficient, and sustainable energy supply. 
Become a member.

Media inquiries & interviews:
Gabrielle Lelievre, GIE Communication Manager | +32 478 78 34 83 |



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