Greenhouse gas intensities of LNG imports to Germany

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused severe turbulence in Germany's and Europe's natural gas supply. Current political decisions are guided by the need to avert an acute energy and gas supply crisis. Significant investments are made in the production, processing and transport infrastructure for liquefied natural gas (LNG) - both in the producing countries and in Germany. Therefore, it is very likely that LNG will play a greater role in Germany's energy supply in the long term.

What environmental impacts - especially on the climate - are associated with the shift to LNG? Future LNG supplies will very likely come from regions from which Germany has so far imported little or no natural gas. However, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with production and processing vary from region to region. The environmental impact of transporting liquefied natural gas is also different from that of imported gas by pipeline. Consequently, the environmental impact of the German consumption mix will also change with the shift to LNG. In addition, there is a growing international consensus that methane emissions from oil and gas production have been systematically underestimated to date. There are apparently strong regional differences here as well.

The aim of this study was to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the import of LNG to Germany and to assess the resulting climate impact. For the most important prospective supplier countries, technological data, existing emission inventories and the results of current measurement campaigns were collected and evaluated. This includes all process steps from natural gas extraction, processing, liquefaction and transport up to regasification in Germany. The process chain emissions were then aggregated into a upstream impact of LNG imports. The emission quantities from the relevant process steps were combined, evaluated, and compared. Finally, the uncertainties of the data quality and possible regional and international trends of the emissions associated with natural gas production are outlined.


November 2022 – March 2023


Wissenschaftsplattform Klimaschutz (WPKS)


Der Endbericht wird voraussichtlich in der zweiten Aprilhälfte veröffentlicht