Natural gas emits between 45% and 55% lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal when used to generate electricity, according to IEA data.
Using natural gas instead of coal to generate electricity can also significantly reduce air pollution.
Natural gas supports renewables because it can quickly compensate for dips in solar or wind power supply and rapidly respond to sudden increases in demand.
Natural gas is also a good partner for hydropower, providing secure electricity supply when there is insufficient rainfall.
In light industry, such as textiles, switching from coal to gas boilers can make a significant contribution to cost reductions, lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.
In heavy industries such as iron, steel, cement and chemicals, switching from coal to gas to produce the intense heat required in furnaces can significantly reduce emissions.
Natural gas will continue to be a central component to produce everyday products such as plastics and fertilisers.
In developed countries, highly efficient, distributed gas-fired combined heat and power systems will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In developing countries, natural gas will replace wood and coal in heating and cooking, helping to improve health conditions.
These systems can also support the integration of low-emissions sources of energy, including geothermal heat and power, solar, wind and batteries.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is helping to diversify the fuel mix and reduce air pollution as a fuel for heavy-duty road transport and shipping.
Natural gas is also converted into high-quality cleaner burning gas-to liquids (GTL) fuels for heavy duty vehicles, inland and seagoing marine vessels.