Fracking boom will not tackle global warming, analysis warns.

Guardian: “An unrestrained global fracking boom that unleashes plentiful and cheap gas will not tackle global warming by replacing coal and cutting carbon emissions, according to a comprehensive analysis that takes into account the impact on the rest of the energy supply.”
“….a new analysis published in the journal Nature shows that a gas boom would cut energy prices, squeezing out renewable energy, and is likely to actually increase overall carbon emissions. The researchers conclude that only new interventions, such as a long-sought international climate change deal or significant global price on carbon pollution, would be effective in tackling warming.
“The upshot is that abundant natural gas alone will not rescue us from climate change,” said Haewon McJeon, an economist at the US department of energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), who led the research. “[New] technology could double or triple the global natural gas production by 2050. But greenhouse gas emissions would continue to grow in the absence of climate policies that promote lower carbon energy sources.”
Abundant gas may have a lot of benefits, such as economic growth, cutting coal-related local air pollution and energy security, McJeon said, but slowing climate change is not one of them.
The new research involved teams of scientists from the US, Australia, Austria, Germany and Italy, who developed five independent computer models to assess how carbon emissions between now and 2050 would be affected by a global gas boom. The “integrated assessment” models included energy production and use, economic activity and the Earth’s climate system.
The researchers found an unrestricted gas boom could increase the use of the fuel by 170% by 2050, but that this could actually increase overall CO2 emissions. The impact of a gas boom on CO2 emissions ranged from a small cut of 2% to an increase of 11%.
“We were surprised how little difference abundant gas made to total greenhouse gas emissions, even though it was dramatically changing the global energy system,” said James Edmonds, also at PNNL. “All five modelling teams reported little difference in climate change.”
Another member of the research team, Nico Bauer at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany, said. “The high hopes that natural gas will help reduce global warming because of [lower emissions than] coal turn out to be misguided because market effects dominate.”