World leaders target hydrogen as part of “Breakthrough Agenda”


COP26 saw over 40 world leaders, including the US, India, EU and China, sign up to a “Breakthrough Agenda” modelled on the UK’s Net Zero Strategy.

As COP26 opened in early November, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, launched an international plan to deliver clean and affordable technology everywhere by 2030, with hydrogen among its targeted technologies. Those that have signed up to it represent more than 70% of the world’s economy and every region, with the overriding aim to make clean technologies the most affordable, accessible and attractive choice for all globally in each of the most polluting sectors by 2030.

It will see countries and businesses coordinate and strengthen their climate action each year to dramatically scale and speed up the development and deployment of clean technologies and drive down costs this decade, with the first five goals – collectively covering more than 50% of global emissions – including a commitment to make affordable renewable and low carbon hydrogen globally available by 2030.

It also includes a drive to make clean power the most affordable and reliable option for all countries to meet their power needs efficiently; to make zero emission vehicles the new normal and accessible, affordable and sustainable in all regions; to ensure near-zero emission steel is the preferred choice in global markets, with efficient use and near-zero emission steel production established and growing in every region; and to have climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture as the most attractive and widely adopted option for farmers everywhere, all by 2030.

It was highlighted how delivering on these first five breakthroughs could result in 20mn new jobs globally, while adding over $16tn across both emerging and advanced economies.

Part of the plan will see countries and businesses work closely through a range of leading international initiatives to accelerate innovation and scale up green industries. For hydrogen, this includes the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst programme. This is aiming to raise $3bn in concessional capital to catalyse up to $30bn of investments to bring down clean technology costs and create markets for green products for green hydrogen, as well as Direct Air Capture, long-duration energy storage and sustainable aviation fuel.