Interview: Eurogas secretary general James Watson on decarbonisation, infrastructure, carbon capture, and molecules

Following the row last month over the EU's projects of common interest list, which angered green groups by including gas infrastructure, Eurogas's James Watson speaks to ENDS about his vision for how the gas industry can help the bloc meet its climate change goals.

The row last month over EU funding support for gas infrastructure seemed polarised: on one side the environmental NGOs and those MEPs and parties with the strongest record on climate ambition; and on the other, the gas lobbyists and the politicians with a more ‘pragmatic’ approach. In the end MEPs voted to accept the fourth list of projects of common interest (PCI) which includes 55 natural gas infrastructure proposals after the commission said support would be assessed against climate neutrality and projects’ ability to carry low-carbon gas.

While Renew group chair of the environment committee Pascal Canfin MEP trumpeted the compromise as a “major advance” that would support the European Green Deal, the gas industry itself had been lobbying for a similar approach. “We said to the European Commission, we think on the PCI list you should make sure that all of the [gas] projects … should satisfy the needs of renewable and decarbonised gas,” says James Watson, secretary general of Eurogas.

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