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23 May 2022, 13:14
Sören Amelang

G7 summit must act to make green hydrogen trade sustainable - NGOs

Clean Energy Wire

The burgeoning global trade in green hydrogen risks becoming an environmental and social burden in producing countries, and the G7 must take steps to ensure it will really boost climate action and development, German NGOs have said. “We call on the German G7 presidency to use the upcoming G7 summit to set up a task force on sustainable trade in green hydrogen,” their joint declaration reads. Binding and ambitious criteria are indispensable if this market is to make a real contribution to climate protection, and industrialised countries must make an effort to build up a domestic and regional supply, the NGOs said. “Currently, large parts of politics, industry and the media present hydrogen exports exclusively as an opportunity for the producing countries. The risks - such as negative climate impacts, destroyed ecosystems, illegal land grabbing and displacement - are almost completely ignored,” the NGOs said. “These risks are exacerbated when industrialised countries rely too heavily on imports, neglect self-sufficiency and projects in other countries are under pressure to quickly compensate for supply shortages.”

The green hydrogen task force, which could be set up within the framework of the OECD or IRENA, must push a certification system for green hydrogen, prioritise the local energy transition and supply over hydrogen exports, ensure that additional renewables are installed for production, safeguard local water supplies, and create long-term jobs, the NGOs said, which include Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), Germanwatch, the WWF, Environmental Action Germany (DUH).

The G7 summit will take place from 26 to 28 June at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria. Green hydrogen is seen as vital for decarbonising sectors such as industry and aviation. Germany and the EU are pushing for a global trade in the climate-neutral gas because it looks likely that sufficient amounts cannot be produced domestically.

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