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Fossil gas: decarbonisation solution, detour or dead end?

South Africa's current coal production and consumption is the country’s largest contributor to carbon emissions and climate change, and the growing narrative is that fossil gas will help to address these issues. However, the truth is that it will likely only make matters worse.

If we want to avoid the devastating climate impacts and reach net-zero carbon by 2050, we must move away from fossil fuels and adopt climate-friendly, renewable energy solutions.

This simple, yet detailed factsheet provides information on what fossil gas is and how it is presently used in South Africa. It also addresses some of the myths about this methane-rich natural gas and shares reasons why investing in fossil gas will likely exacerbate South Africa’s socio-economic and environmental issues. Fossil gas adds to the climate crisis, its imported supply is not secure and gas extraction is harming local communities and the environment. Furthermore, the massive investments in new infrastructure to support the gas industry create new fossil fuel dependence, merely postponing the necessary transition to an equitable low-carbon economy.

This factsheet closes with four clear recommendations: the shifts that need to happen globally, plus three ways that South Africa must play its part.

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Fossil gas factsheet

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