Johns Hopkins SAIS professor co-authors report, ‘Clearing the Air,’ on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions

August 24, 2016
Liquefied natural gas can lower global greenhouse gas emissions if it displaces dirtier sources of power abroad, according to a new report.
“Clearing the Air: How Canadian LNG Exports Could Help Meet World Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals” shows policymakers how their policies on exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) can align with their economic and environmental goals.
The C.D. Howe Institute report is authored by James W. Coleman, assistant professor at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, and Sarah Marie Jordaan, Assistant Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment at Johns Hopkins SAIS.
“Our results serve as a reminder that all involved countries are active participants in how LNG trade will affect overall GHG emissions,” Jordaan said. “Exporting nations can control the upstream emissions within their borders while participating in diplomacy to construct international agreements that reduce downstream emissions.”
The study shows that if LNG from Canada serves coal-dependent countries — mostly in Asia — it will likely lower global greenhouse gas emissions. However, LNG exports to less coal-dependent countries could result in a net emissions increase.
The report argues it is impractical for regulators to assess how individual LNG export facilities will affect overseas greenhouse gas emissions because of uncertainty in markets, which presently makes it difficult to predict exactly where the natural gas will be consumed and what power sources it will replace.
The report offers recommendations to policymakers on steps to maximize the greenhouse gas benefit of LNG.
“Canadian regulators need to recognize the limits of their authority, use negotiations and incentives to encourage compatible GHG reduction strategies in other countries, and carefully control GHG emissions within their own jurisdictions,” Coleman said. “If they do so, Canadian LNG can play a positive role in addressing the world’s economic and environmental problems.”
Full report: Clearing the Air: How Canadian LNG Exports Could Help Meet World Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

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About The C.D. Howe Institute
The C.D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. Widely considered to be Canada's most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review.
About Johns Hopkins SAIS
A division of Johns Hopkins University, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today’s critical issues. For seven decades, students have distinguished themselves by pursuing academic excellence in international relations. The school was established in Washington, D.C. in 1943, and opened its campus in Bologna, Italy in 1955. It initiated one of the first Western university programs in the People’s Republic of China when it launched a campus in Nanjing in 1986.

The school’s mission is to provide an interdisciplinary professional education that prepares a diverse graduate student body for internationally related positions of responsibility; to foster research, scholarship and cross-cultural exchange; and to contribute knowledge, expertise and leadership to the global community.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016