The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that gas will have a much diminished, but still substantial market in a net zero by 2050 world.
So, what should we be asking of gas companies, as they compete for a share of this smaller pie?
Ongoing commitment to end the venting or leaking of methane during extraction, storage and transport, are minimum requirements. As is an end to non-emergency flaring. The powering of gas production and processing by renewables should also be the norm.
But we could go further. Exploration for new gas is continuing, despite the IEA saying it is not needed. But this might give us the opportunity to find and prioritise lower CO2 resources for development, while ensuring that any CO2 extracted is abated immediately, or captured for use or storage.
Gas companies could take responsibility for the CO2 released when their customers burn their product, abating these emissions or helping with their capture. And they could introduce renewables and storage into their mix, assisting customers to transition at the same time.
Gas may have a role in our future, but it’s up to us who gets to play. With some companies on the journey I’ve described, and some not, investors will have a big say. They have a lot to lose if gas assets become stranded by technology or the stronger regulation that will inevitably come as our climate deteriorates further.