CNX recognizes the ongoing developments and risks surrounding climate change and the corresponding opportunities associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy. The Board and management consider these risks and opportunities and their enterprise risk management, strategic planning, and capital allocation processes. While evaluating the impact of risk and opportunities, CNX considers short-, medium-, and long-term time horizons and whether there could be a potential financial impact on the company in those time horizons.

The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommends the use of scenario analysis to better understand how businesses might perform under different climate-related conditions. CNX reviewed our strategy under the three most relevant climate scenarios provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and endorsed by TCFD. These scenarios explore different pathways for the energy sector to 2050. Each scenario was updated in 2023 to include the most recent available energy and market cost data. Each scenario responds in different ways to the fundamental economic and demographic drivers of rising demand for energy services. These differences largely reflect the various policy choices assumed to be made by governments, which, in turn, shape investment decisions and the ways in which households and companies satisfy their energy needs.

CNX referenced the following climate scenarios in our analysis:

The Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS) is designed to provide a sense of the prevailing direction of energy system progression based on a detailed review of the current policy landscape. Whereas the Announced Pledges Scenario (APS) reflects what governments say they will achieve, STEPS looks in detail at what they are actually doing to reach their targets and objectives across the energy economy. Outcomes in STEPS reflect a detailed sector-by-sector review of the policies and measures that are actually in place or that have been announced; aspirational energy or climate targets are not automatically assumed to be met. STEPS is now associated to a temperature rise of 2.4 °C in 2100 (with a 50% probability).

The Announced Pledges Scenario (APS) assumes that governments will meet, in full and on time, all of the climate-related commitments that they have announced, including longer term net-zero emissions targets and pledges in Nationally Determined Contributions, as well as commitments in related areas such as energy access. Pledges made by businesses and other stakeholders are also taken into account where they add to the ambition set out by governments. Since most governments are still very far from having policies announced or in place to deliver in full on their commitments and pledges, this scenario could be regarded as giving them the benefit of the doubt, and very considerable progress would have to be made for it to be achieved. APS is associated with a temperature rise of 1.7 °C in 2100 (with a 50% probability).

The Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario (NZE) is a normative scenario that portrays a pathway for the energy sector to help limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels in 2100 (with at least a 50% probability) with limited overshoot. This scenario works backward from its goals and inserts assumptions as to how they can be achieved. The NZE Scenario also meets the key energy-related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): universal access to reliable modern energy services is reached by 2030, and major improvements in air quality are secured.


Photo by Perry Lupinetti


Globally there is a growing concern over climate change with a key focus on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At CNX, we actively manage our business to reduce GHG emissions.

Methane Emissions

(million metric tons CO2 equivalent)

Methane Emissions

Natural gas is the most cost-effective and fastest solution to meaningful near-term GHG reductions while maintaining energy reliability. Over the last 30 years, methane emissions in the U.S. have seen a significant and continued decrease.

U.S. EPA, 2023

US Dry Natural Gas Production

Million Cubic Feet

US Dry Natural Gas Production

Over the same period of time, natural gas production has increased enormously. Natural gas has displaced oil and coal in the energy mix—and this has had a positive impact on emissions. This displacement trend is expected to continue.

Source: U.S. Energy Administration, 2023

Global Natural Gas Demand

Global Natural Gas Demand

Demand for natural gas remains strong through 2050 in the IEA STEPS scenario, with less robust demand in the APS and NZE scenarios.

Source: IEA World Energy Outlook 2023

Methane Emissions Intensity1

Methane Emissions Intensity (1)

There is a stark difference between the environmental impacts of production in countries with high environmental standards and those which lack standards entirely. Considering the world’s demand for oil, natural gas, and associated products, it is far better for the environment if that demand is met by production in countries with high environmental standards like the U.S.

CNX produces natural gas in the lowest methane intensity region in the United States.

With the lowest GHG intensity, significant opportunity exists for Appalachian and CNX’s low-carbon intensive natural gas to displace higher GHG intense fossil fuels, to displace natural gas from higher GHG intense producers, and to utilize our natural gas for production of low-emission gasses such as hydrogen.

Coupled with our low production costs, CNX is in a resilient, advantageous position with regard to fulfillment of future projected demand. To review this strategic moat, we compared our low production costs with IEA’s forecasted prices under the STEPS, APS, and NZE scenarios.

Holding our 2023 cash production cost constant—despite our expectation that costs will decrease as we adopt new technologies and implement efficiencies, as has been the case over the past 20+ years of shale development—CNX is below the IEAs forecasted prices in each scenario by a sizeable margin through 2050.

United States Natural Gas Prices

United States Natural Gas PricesSource: IEA World Energy Outlook 2023

To further evaluate our resiliency, we compared our fully burdened cash costs, including corporate costs such as general and administrative and interest expenses; as well as our fully burdened cash costs plus finding and development costs, including midstream and water.

In each of these scenarios, due to our ability to generate significant recurring free cash flow, CNX has the potential to repay all outstanding debt and drastically reduce share count or return cash to shareholders. As a result, our future dependence on capital markets declines and our intrinsic value per share grows even in these constrained gas demand scenarios.

In addition to our sustainable gas business, CNX’s New Technologies group is positioned to lead the next energy revolution by providing our ultra-low-carbon intensity coal mine methane as a feedstock for hydrogen projects across the region. The New Technologies group is innovating and implementing technological advancements designed to dovetail with derivative products to take full advantage of the energy catalyst situated in our backyard of Appalachia: low-carbon natural gas. These efforts have the potential to fuel new industrial and manufacturing businesses while helping to reduce emissions.

Climate-related Risks and Opportunities

Identifying potential climate-related risks and opportunities help inform our internal risk assessment, strategy development, and decision-making processes. The strategic responses outlined for the climate scenarios highlight management’s focus on a singular strategy that does not require abrupt shifts to respond to the differences in the scenario assumptions. Substantial demand for natural gas and our track record of successfully adapting in response to new business opportunities give us confidence in the effectiveness of our strategy.

Key climate-related risks and opportunities—summarized below—are the same for each of the scenarios but vary in terms of speed and severity of impact.



  • Climate policies delay and cancel a growing portfolio of natural gas pipeline projects, limiting natural gas demand growth, and spiking prices.
  • Demand destruction of natural gas via government policies may negatively impact cash flows and create risk of stranded assets.
  • Financial institution efforts to reduce exposure to oil and gas entities may result in declining availability of debt instruments and divestment of domestic energy holdings by large institutional investors may reduce industry access to capital.
  • Increasing market concentration of foreign sources of minerals and supply chains for renewables increases geopolitical insecurity.
  • Increased electrification of all sectors of the economy makes the grid more unstable and less reliable, as recently seen in California and Texas.
  • Critical supply chain disruptions and energy/general inflation and actual or potential carbon pricing on operations or products affect availability and costs for products such as steel tubing and casing.
  • Increased regulations and reporting requirements may increase compliance costs and legal liability.

Opportunities/Mitigation Strategies:

  • Coal and oil use drop dramatically due to natural gas displacement and reduced investment flows, increasing baseload gas demand growth.
  • The low-cost, efficient low-carbon intensive producers continue to profitably serve natural gas demand.
  • Proprietary company technology offers opportunity to grow a new business segment focused on providing solutions to methane abatement for various industries.
  • Unique carbon attributes of company methane capture and abatement assets and processes provide opportunity to improve financial performance and participate in growth markets.
  • Demand grows for the use of our low-carbon intensity feedstocks and innovative derivative products in transportation fuels and other markets created by our New Technologies business unit.
  • Accurate and legitimate accounting of Scope 1-3 emissions for wind and solar energy production demonstrate that natural gas is a low-emission energy resource, particularly from Appalachia.
  • Growing appreciation and market for U.S. originated seaborne LNG as countries desire to quickly improve energy security and improve carbon footprint.
  • Scalability and intermittency challenges of renewables improve prospects for natural gas within energy portfolios, economies, and grids, as baseload demand grows.
  • Our unique Regulatory Reporting Group continues to enhance our regulatory reporting and environmental compliance data management processes, integrity, transparency, validation, and reporting. Our unprecedented Radical Transparency efforts See more here lead the industry into a new era of responsible domestic energy development.


  • Shifting of hydrocarbon demand from renewable electric generation, energy storage and commercial electrification applications (e.g., electric vehicles) and the interrelated economic impacts.
  • Increasing electrification of key sectors of the economy.
  • Rapid reduction of hydrocarbon demand due to technological breakthroughs in the field of renewable electric generation, energy storage, and commercial electrification applications (e.g. electric vehicles) and the interrelated economic impacts.

Opportunities/Mitigation Strategies:

  • Commercial opportunities developed to reduce fugitive emissions, abate methane, and capture and sequester carbon.
  • Electrification of key sectors of the economy allows increased role for natural gas in powering the grid and development of shared infrastructure for potential hydrogen integration over the longer term.
  • Demand grows for the use of our low-carbon intensive innovative products resulting in vertical market integration into transportation fuels.


  • Negative perceptions and opinions impact social license to operate.
  • Objective science and math assessing carbon emissions is subsumed by ideology, which is translated into policy.
  • Ill-informed policy creates energy scarcity and inflation with blame falsely assigned to domestic energy.
  • Litigation related to compliance with emerging climate-related regulations.
  • Failure to meet targets and goals can impact stakeholder trust, employee retention, and social license to operate.

Opportunities/Mitigation Strategies:

  • Recent crises in Europe, and in Texas and California, coupled with inflation demonstrate the risks of getting energy policy wrong.
  • These events provide an opportunity to highlight natural gas’ reliability, security, domestic abundance, global mobility, high energy density, and critical role in the energy future.
  • Reinforcing the ethical and moral duty for industry leaders to advocate for domestic energy realities and to constructively engage in public discourse.
  • Strong corporate governance structures help ensure that we maintain corporate values and a social license to operate. Board-level oversight, risk management and our regulatory reporting processes, rigor, and internal controls ensure accurate and timely reporting and compliance.
Physical Risks


  • Frequency and intensity of extreme weather events or shifts in precipitation or other weather patterns including extreme precipitation, droughts, heatwaves, cold waves, water stress, and wildfires.
  • Grid failures impact manufacturing processes and reliability.

Opportunities/Mitigation Strategies:

  • Limited impacts of extreme weather in Appalachia. We are confident in our ability to continue to operate during periods of extreme weather or natural disasters. We have a robust emergency preparedness program and culture. We have experienced flooding in Virginia from extreme precipitation, drought conditions in Pennsylvania, days of extreme heat and days of extreme cold and our proactive mitigation efforts, and responses to protect our workers and our assets have been successfully tested with little impact to our business. We do not generally operate in areas where extreme heat or water stress is expected in the short or medium term. Extreme cold days are expected to decrease. 
  • Natural gas production and distributions systems are designed to perform reliably during extreme weather. Natural gas has long-duration and seasonal storage capabilities, underground infrastructure, and operational flexibility designed into the gas system. Natural gas continues to flow to homes during electrical outages ensuring that those homes can stay warm and safe during extreme weather conditions.

CNX believes that the climate scenario response strategies outlined are appropriately crafted to help mitigate the risks related to energy security in energy transitions that are outlined by the IEA in the World Energy Outlook 2023. More importantly, these risks highlight the opportunity for CNX and the natural gas industry to play a leading role in preventing disorderly change by providing low-carbon intensity energy to displace more carbon intensive fuels and through infrastructure and technology investments that can address these future risks that threaten our common goals.

CNX has taken steps to reshape itself to meet ever-changing market conditions and will continue to do so. Our efforts reduce GHG emissions and leverage our unique asset base and core competencies to develop new low-carbon intensity business opportunities ensuring that our climate resilience and sustainability will continue to expand in the years to come.