Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S)

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Climate Lobbying Overview: Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S) appears to be positively engaged with climate policy in Europe in its top-line communications and advocacy on specific climate policy. However, its comments on the energy transition do not appear to align with its top-line messaging on climate change, as the organization continues to promote the role of unabated fossil gas in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: GD4S’ engagement with top-line messaging on climate policy appears to be positive, albeit relatively limited. The organization appears to support the EU’s Green Deal and Climate Law, which sets a 2050 climate neutral target. However, on its corporate website, accessed in November 2021, the association suggested the achievement of the EU’s climate goals must not negatively impact economic growth and lead to an increase in energy poverty.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: GD4S has a broadly positive position on climate regulation. In a 2020 consultation response, the association expressed support for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as well as reforms to strengthen the Market Stability Reserve and reduce the free allocation of allowances for industry. In the same consultation, the organization appeared to support the introduction of a carbon tax in the road, transport, and buildings sectors. GD4S has also indicated support for the EU’s 2030 GHG emission reduction target of at least 55%, in an October 2021 briefing paper on its website. The association appears to support the reduction in methane emissions on Twitter in June 2021, but it is unclear if it supports legislation to reduce methane emissions.

GD4S appears to support the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED), with exceptions. In its 2021 consultation on RED, the association supported higher ambition in renewable energy targets and advocated for them to become nationally binding. However, it has repeatedly lobbied for RED to be extended to include ‘low carbon gases' and include a binding target for renewable gas. GD4S has consistently advocated for the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and Renovation Wave initiative to consider the emissions reductions offered by fossil gas technologies, specifically calling for the uptake of hybrid heating technologies to provide emissions reductions and enhance energy affordability on its website in June 2020. Despite supporting higher ambition in the EED in a 2020 consultation, the association advocated against strengthening the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency targets, and opposed making these targets nationally binding in its EED 2021 consultation response.

Positioning on Energy Transition: GD4S appears to be generally negatively engaged on the energy transition and has consistently advocated for the support of natural gas in EU policies. For example, in a 2020 consultation response, GD4S advocated for a higher threshold for electricity generation to enable fossil gas activity to be included in the EU’s Taxonomy on the basis of need to transition regions from coal to fossil gas for emissions reductions. The association’s President Paolo Gallo also signed a joint letter to the EU Commission in March 2021, that called for the inclusion of hydrogen and fossil gas blending in the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy. Similarly, the organization advocated in its 2021 White Paper on its corporate website, for the inclusion of blue hydrogen projects in the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy.

GD4S has also strongly supported the role of fossil gas technologies in the transport sector, including advocating for fossil gas vehicles to be recognized in the EU’s Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive on its website in 2021. At the same time, it stated that these technologies should receive preferential taxation treatment in the EU’s Energy Taxation Directive in its 2021 White Paper. In the same paper, the organization supported an expansion of bioenergy, through biomethane, to support the energy transition.

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