Europe should shape the green hydrogen market now

(EurActiv, 4 Nov 2022) Strict regulation does not have to stifle the emerging market for green hydrogen — just the opposite, write Benjamin Görlach and Michael Jakob. They argue that a unified system for monitoring, certifying and tracking green hydrogen production and trade is key to all this.

Benjamin Görlach and Michael Jakob are environmental economists with the academic think tank Ecologic Institute in Berlin. This piece was co-produced with Knowable Magazine.

The war on Ukraine – a major exporter of natural gas – has wreaked havoc on European energy markets. Faced with imminent energy shortages, governments have ramped up coal use and expanded the import of liquified natural gas from other nations. The International Energy Agency estimates that coal use in Europe could increase by 7% in 2022, after a 14% jump in 2021.

This is a problem. Europe is sliding backwards on its climate goals just when it needs to be leaping forward.

In 2019, the European Union declared its ambition to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. This requires a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels. The 2020s are the decisive decade for this energy transformation. Now is the worst time to be ramping up dirty coal. Any investment into the energy system must be compatible with the goal of a fully decarbonised economy.

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EurActiv, 4 Nov 2022: Europe should shape the green hydrogen market now