CEOs call for binding ambitious targets for renewable hydrogen

Ahead of the political trilogue on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) revision this Thursday 15 December, CEOs of frontrunner European companies from across the value chain have been calling on EU policymakers to adopt ambitious binding targets for renewable hydrogen and its derivatives in hard-to-electrify industry and transport.

CEOs call for binding ambitious targets for renewable hydrogen

Arduous discussions await EU negotiators, who do not see eye to eye on the level of ambition for the proposed targets in RED mandating the uptake of Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBOs), including renewable hydrogen, in industry and transport.

The Council of the European Union led by the Czech Presidency has proposed to reduce the ambition of the industry target and does not support binding target in transport, failing to reflect the ambition of the European Parliament and European Commissions’ REPowerEU plan.

The Council’s lack of ambition is problematic. Not sending clear signals may lead to not deliver the REPowerEU goals. This may also foster investment in suboptimal solutions such as fossil low-carbon hydrogen instead of renewable hydrogen. This would not only lead to stranded assets and carbon lock-in but also to deepening a dependency in imported fossil fuels, running counter to the REPowerEU goals. What’s more is Europe’s global leadership in renewable hydrogen is at stake.

The Chair of the Renewable Hydrogen Coalition and Executive Chairman of Iberdrola Ignacio S. Galán, stressed that Europe has a unique opportunity to lead the development of renewable hydrogen and called on EU policymakers to let industry keep moving forward.

An ambitious revision of the RED is crucial to tackle the current energy crisis by shifting towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy where renewables and renewable hydrogen play a central role. This is key to achieve the REPowerEU goals, carbon neutrality and keep and create jobs in Europe.

This comes at a point where energy-intensive sectors find it more and more difficult to remain cost-competitive due to soaring energy prices pushed upward by the price volatility of fossil fuels. And as a result, many companies have halted their operations, rethink their investment decisions or consider moving outside Europe.

More than ever, it is crucial that ambition is met with concrete measures. That is why in a recent joint letter co-signed by more than 80 companies and industry organisations came together to call on Member States to adopt ambitious binding targets for RFNBOs in transport along with the binding target for industry in the upcoming trilogue.

Industry is ready to do its part. Policymakers now share the responsibility to make it happen.

Watch the videos of CEOs of frontrunner companies asking for ambitious and binding targets here.

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