Global gas consumption is expected to decline slightly in 2022 due to the war in Ukraine, which should curb demand growth for years to come, the IEA said on Tuesday.

“Global natural gas consumption is expected to contract slightly in 2022 and grow slowly over the next three years as the war in Ukraine pushes up prices and stokes fears of continued supply disruptions,” according to a quarterly report from the company. International Energy Agency.

As a result of this new geopolitical situation, global gas demand “is expected to increase by a total of 140 billion cubic meters (bcm) between 2021 and 2025”, i.e. “less than half of the total previously forecast and less than the increase of 170 bcm observed for the year 2021 alone”, marked by a recovery of the world economy paralyzed in 2020 by the COVID pandemic, notes the IEA.

A brake for the next few years attributable “essentially” to the weaker economic activity and a lesser switch from coal and oil to gas. “Only a fifth” of this decline in growth can be attributed to improved energy efficiency and a shift from gas to renewables, according to the report.

This finding highlights “the need to accelerate the transition to clean energy,” according to the IEA.

Faced with an “inevitable price spike as countries around the world compete for shipments of liquefied natural gas”, Keisuke Sadamori, director of markets and energy security at the IEA, believes that “the most sustainable response to the current global energy crisis is to strengthen efforts and policies to use energy more efficiently and accelerate transitions to clean energies’, such as biogas, biomethane and green hydrogen.

This would help calm the surge in prices and “make it easier for emerging markets to access supplies that could help improve carbon intensity and air quality in the short term,” according to the IEA.

Conversely, Europe’s growing push to phase out Russian gas by replacing it with liquefied natural gas (LNG), coupled with a ‘limited’ global ability to increase LNG exports, ‘raises the risk’ tensions in the market, the report concludes.