G7 to step up efforts to advance commercial scale hydrogen

May 24, 2021

The Group of Seven (G7) has agreed to step up efforts to advance commercial scale hydrogen from low carbon and renewable sources across its economies, including support for fuel cell deployment globally.

The intergovernmental organisation, consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, met virtually on Friday (May 21), ahead of the G7 leaders’ Summit in Cornwall, UK next month, and agreed to phase out government funding for fossil fuel projects internationally in support of greener alternatives, like hydrogen.

As a first step the G7 countries will end all new finance for coal power by the end of 2021, matched by increased support for clean energy alternatives.

It was also agreed to accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity and to an overwhelmingly decarbonised power system in the 2030s.

“This event, which is a major stepping stone before we host the leaders G7 in Cornwall next month, has been dedicated to accelerating action within the G7 to tackle the twin challenges of climate change, and biodiversity loss, and we have seen substantial progress this week, notably on one of my personal priorities: ending coal,” said Alok Sharma, COP President-Designate.

“The G7 are united on the need to build back greener for the pandemic by putting climate, biodiversity and the environment at the heart of the worldwide Covid-19 recovery strategies and investments, and we are all committed to limiting global warming and keeping 1.5 degrees alive.

“I am proud that we are the first net zero G7, and to deliver on this we have all agreed to accelerate the transition away from dirty coal capacity to an overwhelmingly decarbonized power system in the 2030s.

“We’re also committed to phasing out international fossil fuel finance, beginning with an end to all new direct government support for international coal power by the end of 2021. This commitment I believe sends a clear signal to the world that coal is on the way out.

“On finance, the G7 has reaffirmed the goal to jointly mobilise $100bn annually through to 2025, agreeing to increase climate finance and funds directed towards projects protecting vulnerable people who are already feeling the effects of climate change.”

Commitment to hydrogen

Recognising the importance of maintaining energy security as the global energy systems are transformed, and the need for energy markets that are “open, flexible, transparent, competitive, sustainable, reliable and resilient”, the G7 committed to developing strategies and actions that “enhance our focus on the security of innovative, clean, safe and sustainable energy technologies”.

“This includes resilience in the face of cyber security threats, the system integration of variable renewable energy, energy storage, flexible power plants, hydrogen, as well as demand side management, smart grids, and related infrastructure including the accommodation of sustainable biofuels and hydrogen,” the G7 said in a statement Friday.

Read more here.

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