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The main source of CO2-emissions

Fossil fuels are a group of naturally formed energy sources including coal, petroleum, natural gas, oil shales, bitumens, tar sands, and heavy oils. The most commonly used fossil fuels alone – petroleum, coal and natural gas – make up 85% of the world’s primary energy consumption. In discussions on climate change, fossil fuels are roundly maligned as major emitters of carbon dioxide and as the greatest contributors to climate change.

Why are fossil fuels considered non-renewable?

Although fossil fuels are, by definition, natural resources that could be regenerated, they are de facto non-renewable due to the duration of the process. The fossil fuel deposits humans have been tapping into since the industrial revolution were formed over millions of years and the volumes used far exceed those produced. Although there is some debate surrounding how long supplies can last, at the current rate of global consumption, all known fossil fuel reserves will inevitably run out eventually, possibly within this century.

How do fossil fuels affect the environment?

Fossil fuels contain large amounts of carbon, effectively sequestering large volumes of the element as part of the natural carbon cycle. Burning these fuels results in emissions, including carbon dioxide, which are released into the earth’s atmosphere. These greenhouse gases are considered the crucial contributing factor to global warming.

share of coal in global primary energy consumption on 2019
share of oil
share of gas

Making fossil fuel production cleaner and more efficient

It would be impossible to cease all production and consumption of fossil fuels at once. The transition has to be a well-managed, long-term process. MAN Energy Solutions helps make gas and oil production more sustainable in the short term. MAN designs highly efficient products to support the oil and gas industry, allowing companies to use available resources more effectively and reducing the carbon footprint of oil and gas operations in the process.

Learn more about decarbonization in the gas and oil industry

Synthetic fuels for a climate-neutral future

Unlike road transport, where direct battery electrification is becoming the technology of choice to replace fossil fuels, decarbonization in shipping can only happen by decarbonizing the fuels used in internal combustion engines. In particular, large ocean-going vessels cannot be electrified with batteries or fuel cells. To reach carbon neutrality the future belongs to climate-neutral fuels produced from green hydrogen and renewable energy sources. These fuels include synthetic natural gas (methane), green ammonia and methanol as well as hydrogen for shorter distances.

Learn more about future fuels in shipping

A new milestone to replace fossil fuels in shipping

The German container ship ElbBlue just became the world’s first to be tanked with climate-neutral synthetic natural gas (SNG) generated from wind power as part of an effort to decarbonize one of the last industries still heavily reliant on fossil fuels: maritime shipping.

Learn more about this milestone for the maritime energy transition


Synthetic fuels like SNG enable ships to run 100% climate-neutrally. Today, we are demonstrating that any LNG-retrofitted ship can also run on fuels generated from green hydrogen by power-to-x-technology.

Stefan Eefting, Head of MAN PrimeServ, Augsburg