The International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report on Tuesday 29 May claiming that exploiting the world's unconventional gas could lead to a "golden age of gas". The IEA said governments, industry and stakeholders must work together to allay public concerns about the environmental and social impacts of exploiting unconventional natural gas resources. The report sets out two possible future trajectories for the sector: a Golden Rules Case, where the application of the golden rules lead to a brisk expansion of unconventional gas supply; and a Low Unconventional Case, where unconventional gas production rises only marginally above current levels by 2035,as result of a lack of public acceptance. Executive director Maria van der Hoeven said the industry must win public confidence by "demonstrating exemplary performance", and governments "must ensure that appropriate policies and regulatory regimes are in place".
In response the WWF warned a global "dash for gas" would lead to a temperature increase of at least 3.5°C. Head of climate change Keith Allott denied there was even a short-term benefit to the UK from the availability of shale gas, and said it now appeared to be the biggest threat to meeting carbon targets.
IEA WWF UK