One of the most visible innovations in the energy sector has been the development of unconventional gas extraction. At the same time, climate change appears to be one of the biggest societal challenges of this century. It is thus natural to wonder what is the relation between climate change and natural gas availability. Drawing from recent research, this paper reviews this relation availing of large scale energy economy models. We show that even if gas was available in vast supply, it would have limited impact on emissions and other determinants of climate change. Whether gas can facilitate the transition towards a low carbon world is shown to depend on a variety of factors, such as the stringency of the climate objective, policy support to renewables, and energy efficiency policies.
Keywords: Natural gas, shale gas, climate change
Jel Code: Q54, Q47, L71