Statements voiced by Russian and German officials on the alleged lack of environmental impact of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project are absolutely false, says Ukrainian expert Mykhailo Gonchar.
Speaking at the Democracy in Action forum's panel on Nord Stream 2 and Europe's Green Deal, Gonchar, who heads a Strategy XXI center for global studies, noted that the strongest argument put forward by the Federal Government in Germany in favor of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines is that they contribute to a larger consumption of gas as transition fuel – toward achieving the goals of decarbonization and climate neutrality.
Indeed, the expert agrees, CO2 emissions from gas combustion are by a third lower than those from traditional coal or oil. At the same time, Gonchar underlined, methane contributes to global warming much more than CO2.
Meanwhile, Russia and Germany claim that NS2, laid along the Baltic Sea bottom, does not emit anything into the atmosphere as its pipes are sealed.
"But this argument, frankly speaking, is false," Gonchar says.
Noting that Nord Stream 2 has only 1,230 km of the offshore section, he recalls that its total length is 4,760 km, which includes dozens of compressing stations using natural gas as fuel.
"Methane and CO2 emissions into the atmosphere occur in Yamal and on the route from Yamal Peninsula to Europe," the expert stressed. Therefore, the overall decrease of emissions in this respect looks dubious.
Read also Ukraine's war on Gazprom: Nord Stream 2 should fulfil European directives Given that methane is more aggressive, the general effect of CO2 emissions drop in Europe will be totally neutralized by methane emissions, Gonchar underlined.
"When analyzing a project it is important to see not only what the initiators show but also what they ignore and try to hide," Gonchar stressed. "Nord Stream 2 is such a project where there's something that is overlooked and something that is carefully hidden."
Translation: Yevgeny Matyushenko