Corporates pledge to accelerate use of decarbonised hydrogen – COP26

Image credit: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) confirmed the pledges of 28 companies to drive growth in the demand for, and supply of green and blue hydrogen.

The new initiative comprising of these companies – H2Zero – will accelerate the use and production of hydrogen as an essential part of the future net-zero energy system.

Companies that have made pledges represent different sectors from mining to energy, vehicle and equipment manufacturers, and financial services and include EDP, Enel, Iberdrola, Shell and Total.

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“The uncertainty of over supply and the lack of commitment for demand are two challenges associated with the development of hydrogen as part of the global energy system,” said Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Shell and Chair of the Hydrogen Taskforce at SMI. “We brought companies together to tackle this status quo and send a strong signal to markets and governments for hydrogen to reach its full potential.”

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On the demand side, the pledges – which total 1.6 mtpa of lower-carbon intensity hydrogen – focus on replacing grey hydrogen, currently used widely in the refining, chemical and fertilizer sectors, or diesel fuel used in heavy industries such as mining.

On the supply side, the pledges add up to more than 18 mtpa of lower-carbon hydrogen, equivalent to nearly the combined annual emissions of The Netherlands and Tunisia.

“Our hope is that these combined pledges spark investments in supply and inspire other users to transition to hydrogen,” added Claire O’Neill, Senior Advisor at WBCSD and former COP26 President-Designate.

“To further accelerate the development of the hydrogen market, we are encouraging more companies to join this effort and make pledges. We stand ready to work with any company from any sector who is interested in driving progress towards a net-zero, nature positive and equitable future for 9+ billion people to live, within planetary boundaries, by 2050.”

The WBCSD emphasises the need for unprecedented collaboration between the private and public sectors, as well as a stable investment framework to accelerate the deployment of clean hydrogen.

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