Nearly 60 companies and associations representing the European gas sector are calling on EU institutions to support “ambitious and pragmatic policy tools” that will enable the scaling up of all decarbonisation options to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

In a letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council Charles Michel and Presidency of the Council of the EU, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, the industry leaders lobby for natural, renewable and decarbonised gases, along with carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies, to be recognised as an indispensable part of the energy transition towards a carbon neutral economy in 2050.

Highlighting the key role that gas plays in balancing variable renewables at an affordable cost, reducing CO2 emissions and guaranteeing system reliability, the letter asks policymakers to design appropriate EU financing mechanisms enabling swift replacement of coal with gas as a transitional solution to bridge the investment and technological gap.

“Decades of investments have made gas and its infrastructure strategic assets for the EU’s energy system security, stability and affordability,” the letter says.

“They will continue to play these key roles to help meet the EU 2050 climate neutrality objective while keeping European competitiveness.”

“The EU Hydrogen Strategy recognises that alongside renewable hydrogen, low-carbon hydrogen production from natural gas reforming in combination with CCUS or pyrolysis will play a fundamental role in providing the necessary volumes to develop an integrated hydrogen market.”

The letter calls for the EU institutions to include the “transitional and enabling activities” and create a “level playing field” for commercially mature technologies and “reap the full benefits” of all European gas resources to decarbonise the EU economy in a “fast and cost- effective way”, on the path towards climate neutrality by:

  • Taking a level playing field approach to the development of hydrogen (from renewables, natural gas reforming with CCUS and methane pyrolysis)
  • Incentivising investments in hydrogen infrastructure (including retrofitting)
  • Lifting legal and administrative barriers to the introduction of hydrogen into the gas grid
  • Supporting CCUS and the full range of low-carbon gas options in the EU’s climate and energy policies, in particular in the future revision of gas market rules; Integrating CO2 storage and all modes of CO2 transport in overall infrastructure development.
  • Supporting European electrolyser manufacturers and other renewable gas solutions, such as biomethane, to ensure that Europe remains the world leader in developing and manufacturing clean gas technologies

Signatory companies include: Aker Solutions, BP, Cairn Energy, Chrysaor, Enagás, Equinor, Eustream, FGSZ, Fluxys Belgium, GAS Connect Austria, Gascade Gastransport, GasTerra, Gaz-System, Hermann Sewein, Kiwa, Magyar Földgázkereskedő (Hungarian Gas Trade), MFGT (Hungarian Gas Storage), MOL Group, Nafta, Neptune Energy, Net4gas, Nortegas Energia Distribucion, Open Grid Europe, Overgas Mrezhi, Petoro, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, PGNiG, Plinovodi, RAG Austria, RAG Energy Storage, Repsol, Total, TPS Baker Hughes, Trans Austria Gasleitung, Uniper, Wintershall Sea and Woodside Energy.

Signatory associations include: BDEW (German Association of Energy and Water Industries), BVEG (Federal Association of Natural Gas, Crude Oil and Geothermal Energy), Croation Gas Association, Czech Gas Association, Eurogas, Finnish Gas Association, GasNaturally, GERG (European Gas Research Group), GIE (Gas Infrastructure Europe), IADC (International Association of Drilling Contractors), IGU (International Gas Union), IOGP (International Oil and Gas Producers), Liquid Gas Europe, Marcogaz, NGVA Europe, NOGEPA (Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association), NOROG (Norwegian Oil and Gas Association), Oil Gas Denmark, Slovak Gas and Oil Association and Zukunft Erdgas.