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Russia's Gazprom says natural gas fits in with global climate goals

MOSCOW, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Natural gas is fully compatible with global goals on climate change and has to remain a key element in energy consumption, Elena Burmistrova, head of exports at Russian gas giant Gazprom, said on Wednesday.

Some climate scientists say rising production of natural gas, mainly methane, is emerging as one of the biggest drivers of climate change, and that plans for industry expansion could hobble efforts to curb greenhouse gases.

Burmistrova told the European Gas Virtual online conference it was impossible to ensure the security of Europe’s energy system without natural gas. Gazprom accounts for about a third of gas supplies to the European Union.

“So, speaking about the future of our industry, I’m sure that gas is fully compatible with the most ambitious climate goals, and it can and has to take up the key role in the rational and safe energy system,” she told the event.

Burmistrova said pipeline gas accounted for far fewer emissions than the sea-borne liquefied natural gas, defending Gazprom’s main way of exporting gas as it faces increasing competition from super-cooled gas.

To limit the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5C, the most ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, scientists say CO2 emissions must be reduced to net zero by 2050, which leaves far less room for use of fossil fuels.

Speaking at the same conference, Gazprom Chairman Viktor Zubkov, also reiterated the need to expand the role of gas as a motor fuel for vehicles. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Katya Golubkova and Oksana Kobzeva; editing by David Evans)

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