The fossil fuel industry is expected to spend more than $1 trillion globally over the next decade on natural gas production, driven by growing demand from Europe, a report released this week by climate campaign group Global Witness has claimed.
The NGO’s analysis of data from Rystad Energy shows that $223 billion of the total will go toward developing and operating new gas extraction sites to supply the continent.
Oil giants Shell, TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil, Equinor, and Eni will be among the top spenders, according to the report. Together, these five companies are projected to pump a total of $144 billion into gas supply for the continent over this period. Meanwhile, annual expenditures by the top 20 firms producing gas for Europe are expected to jump from $60 billion in 2024 to $105 billion in 2033.
According to Global Witness, the analysis includes both fossil gas and gas condensate, a by-product of gas extraction used to make kerosene, diesel and other fossil fuels.
“The numbers are stark – Europe is hurtling down a dangerous path by doubling down on fossil gas, and needs to pull out all the stops to end the age of fossil fuels,” Dominic Eagleton, senior fossil fuels campaigner at Global Witness, said. “The European Commission must seize its chance to quicken Europe’s exit from gas and set 2035 as a target date to phase out this costly, crisis-ridden and climate-boiling fossil fuel,” he urged.
EU dips further into emergency gas reserves
The report comes as the European Commission is due to unveil its proposals for a target to cut the EU’s emissions by 2040. According to International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates, the EU will account for 66% of overall gas volumes consumed in the wider European region in 2024, with the share staying virtually the same in 2030 at 65%.
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