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Gas boom risks ‘perfect storm’ for climate, economy: Report

Gas boom risks 'perfect storm' for climate, economy: Report

Global natural gas capacity under construction has doubled in a year according to new analysis that warned Tuesday the investment boom in the world's fastest-growing fuel risks a "perfect storm" of climate chaos and stranded assets.

Capital expenditure on liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities has surged from US$82.8 billion to $196.1 billion over the last 12 months, according to a report by Global Energy Monitor.

Following a string of divestment from high-profile LNG funders, the report warned that at least two dozen projects were recently cancelled or are in serious financial difficulty.

"LNG was once considered a safe bet for investors," said Greg Aitken, research analyst at Global Energy Monitor.

"Not only was it considered a climate-friendly fuel, but there was substantial governmental support to make sure that these mega-projects were shepherded to completion with all the billions they needed.

"Suddenly the industry is beset with problems," Aitken said.

As the coronavirus pandemic squeezes investors and a growing social movement against new gas projects gathers pace, the report said troubled projects were facing a range of difficulties in sustaining finance.

In the past year Berkshire Hathaway and the governments of Sweden and Ireland were among financiers to drop several billion dollars worth of gas project funding, it noted.
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