Human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems.’ This was the opening sentence of the 2014 report on ‘Climate Change. Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability’, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

What we need to be clear about is that we have to avoid reaching a point of no return in the process of climate change and global warming, two phenomena that may threaten our way of life. Achieving this goal requires efficient and sustained change. In this context, we cannot overlook the need to foster technological innovation and the efficient use of energy resources.

The world’s energy needs are constantly growing as the result of a growing population. It is essential that we continue our efforts to transform the current model of energy production and consumption into one that is more sustainable. Achieving a low-carbon economy that is able to satisfy the needs of humanity requires a transition in which natural gas can play a major part.

Clean, flexible and competitive, gas is the perfect companion to renewable sources and the most realistic and sustainable option to be found until renewables are further developed. Just this year, the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) highlighted in their report ‘Perspectives for the Energy Transition’ the importance of natural gas in the energy transition to ensuring system flexibility in the power sector and replace traditional fossil fuels. They also state that gas natural gas can be a ‘bridge’ to greater use of renewable energy.

In one of its most recent reports, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies also pointed out that, using existing gas infrastructures, a greater use of gas will mean immediate reductions in greenhouse gases. This would contribute to fulfilling the 2020 environmental targets set for Europe, progress in which was reported by the European Union in February this year.

We have come a long way, but if we are to continue on the road to a more sustainable model, everybody’s commitment is necessary. Given the type of activity we conduct, energy companies should continue to contribute to meeting targets and be able to lead the energy transition, a process that has already begun and in which natural gas will play a major part.