Photo: East News

By Martin Chomsky/Deutsche Welle

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Prof. Claudia Kemfert from the Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW) said that it is becoming less and less likely that the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be put into service at all.

“Gas-fired power plants emit less CO2 than coal-fired plants. But that is only half the story. In the case of natural gas, we need to take account of mining and transport which enlarge the carbon footprint. The problem here is not carbon dioxide, however, but methane. After extraction, some of it simply escapes into the atmosphere. But there are also leaks of methane during transport, at pipeline valves and through leaks. This effect has long been underestimated, not least because it is difficult to measure,” said Claudia Kemfert.

“The US will continue to exert enormous pressure not to launch Nord Stream 2. However, it wants to sell its own liquefied gas to Europe. Russia is dependent on selling gas to Europe. But Russia also wants to bypass transport through Ukraine. Geostrategic disputes are the main reason for this. The likelihood of Nord Stream 2 being launched is increasingly diminishing. Even if it starts working, it is doubtful whether gas will ever be transported as planned,” the expert said.