Earth Day 2021: Together, we act for a more sustainable future

Now, more than ever, there is a shared understanding that the responsibility to work to address climate change, by reducing the carbon intensity of our actions and enhancing the sustainability of our modern economy, belongs to each of us – governments, corporations, academics and concerned citizens around the globe. Earth Day 2021 offers an important opportunity to celebrate the energy and technology innovations that are driving our Clean Energy Transition and take stock of the work still to come.

At Air Liquide, we are proud to advance the transition to a low-carbon economy by reducing the carbon intensity of our own activities and by providing innovative, sustainable solutions to our customers as they pursue their own climate goals. Hydrogen is one of the pathways to supercharge the clean energy transition and Air Liquide is advancing the development and deployment of hydrogen infrastructure and technologies. Air Liquide has invested more than $5 billion in hydrogen worldwide, including close to $600 million in technologies and solutions to accelerate the production of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen.

Air Liquide announced in March 2021 that we would invest close to $10 billion in low-carbon hydrogen by 2035 and triple our sales to help our customers lower their emissions.  We firmly believe that hydrogen is essential to a low carbon energy future, supporting greater efficiency and sustainability across energy intensive sectors.

Transportation, for example, is responsible for a quarter of all carbon emissions, but hydrogen-powered vehicles do not generate any pollution at their point of use: zero greenhouse gases, zero particles and zero noise. Hydrogen provides a solution for zero- emission fleet vehicles, passenger vehicles and light duty trucks, especially for consumers in urban areas who can’t install electric charging infrastructure. As part of our commitment to making this technology more accessible, Air Liquide has invested $200 million in a hydrogen liquifier and logistics infrastructure on the West Coast, which complements our partnership with FirstElement Fuel to supply hydrogen for their network of refueling stations throughout California. Additionally, our PEM electrolyzer in Becancour, Canada, the largest of its kind in operation globally, is currently producing 8.2 tons per day of renewable hydrogen for the northeast U.S. hydrogen market.

We are also focused on the role hydrogen can play as a more sustainable solution for energy storage, supporting our growing use of renewable energy sources for electricity and as a way of enhancing the resilience of our national power grid. Excess electricity generation can be used to produce hydrogen, and that hydrogen energy can then be stored for reuse on the grid or redirected to the transportation sector as fuel. Today, Air Liquide owns and operates the largest hydrogen storage cavern in the world, with a capacity of over 4.5 billion cubic feet, complementing our growing hydrogen supply capabilities along the Gulf Coast.

At Air Liquide, our commitment to sustainability is not new, but we are dedicated to continuing to push ourselves to set and meet new and ambitious goals that will lead to a cleaner, more reliable energy market and advance the transition to a clean energy economy.

To that end, we have pledged that, by 2035, more than 50% of our hydrogen sales will be renewable and low-carbon and by 2025, we will have reduced our carbon intensity by 30 percent. Having fully delivered on our 2025 objective, Air Liquide plans to go even further with a commitment to decrease CO2 emissions in absolute value by 33% by 2035, a stepping stone to our overall objective of carbon neutrality by 2050.

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