Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions associated with natural gas and coal in different geographical contexts

Numerous studies have shown that natural gas, even from unconventional sources, should be preferable to coal with regards to the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) it emits when used to produce electricity. However, it has also been shown that, in certain particular situations, the coal may emit less GHGs than natural gas. Considering that results from past studies are dependent on their underlying assumptions and are only representative of the specific geographical context to which they apply, TOTAL wishes to ascertain the life cycle GHG emissions from some of their activities (or those of their partners) from the extraction to electricity production. Therefore, TOTAL mandated the CIRAIG to: “Establish and compare the life cycle GHG emissions of natural gas and coal from different sources (conventional and unconventional) and geographical contexts in order to produce electricity in Europe and Asia.”

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