The environmental organisation’s calculations are based on official reports, which will be a release of around 155 million cubic meters of gas per pipe.
– The whole amount is now about to leak out, says Mads Flarup Christensen, who is the Nordic Secretary General of Greenpeace.
The release can be calculated based on different models for how long methane takes to decompose, writes the Danish news agency Ritzau. Greenpeace bases itself on a decomposition time of 20 years, as the UN does.
The emission then corresponds to 30 million CO2 equivalents, writes Ritzau.
– This corresponds to what we release in Denmark in a few months, and it is quite a huge amount. This is probably one reason why we must be careful about betting our future on fossil fuels, says Christensen.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is among those who have quickly concluded that the leak is due to sabotage.
Unclear how much
If you expect methane to break down in 100 years, the gas leak leads to around a fifth of Denmark’s annual CO2 emissions, writes newspaper Politiken, which has also calculated the emissions.
However, it is unclear whether all the gas will escape from the pipes. Danish authorities have stated that they expect that it will not be until a week before they can get close enough to the pipes to examine them.
Until then, the gas will continue to leak out in large quantities, and nothing can be done to stop the leak.
Probably not harmful
The upside is that the leak does not have major impacts on the marine life around the cables, at least according to Greenpeace and Jacob Carstensen, who is a professor of marine ecology.
– The local environmental consequences are limited, because the gas goes straight up through the bodies of water and into the atmosphere very quickly, says the Greenpeace leader.
Carstensen agrees and tells Politiken that it is only fish that have been close to the leak that may have been injured. The gas is not poisonous, he says quickly.