Charting the Course: 2nd High-Level Roundtable of the International Hydrogen Trade Forum and the Hydrogen Council hosted by Minister Jetten in The Netherlands

Today, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the second Ministerial-Executive Roundtable was hosted by the International Hydrogen Trade Forum (IHTF) and the Hydrogen Council, building on the success of the inaugural Ministerial-Executive Roundtable held at COP28 hosted by H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei Minsiter of Energy, UAE.

Chaired by Rob Jetten, Minister for Climate and Energy Policy and Deputy Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Co-Chair of IHTF, the roundtable brought together nearly two dozen Ministerial officials of the IHTF supporting countries, representing prospective hydrogen importing and exporting countries, as well as the delegation of 15 Hydrogen Council executives led by the Hydrogen Council Co-Chair Yoshinori Kanehana, Chairman of the Board, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd..

The roundtable featured Ministerial-Executive dialogues on global, cross-border trade corridors in hydrogen and its derivatives from the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, to Europe and Asia, considering the status and outlook for the deployment of diverse hydrogen carriers, the enabling infrastructure, and the demand from end use sectors.

Rob Jetten, Minister for Climate and Energy Policy and Deputy Prime Minister said: “We see a critical need for better alignment between decision-makers in the public and private sector to advance the development of cross-border supply chains for hydrogen and its derivatives. That is why the Netherlands took the initiative to co-host the second IHTF-Hydrogen Council Ministerial-Executive Roundtable. Hydrogen supply chains will play a crucial role in accelerating decarbonisation, boosting security of supply and unlocking socio-economic gains globally. Together with our partners, The Netherlands is committed to open the gateway into the European hydrogen market, driving decarbonisation of our industries and sustainable growth.”

Sharif Al Olama, Undersecretary, Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure said: “Today’s Ministerial-Executive dialogue is an important milestone in public-private cooperation paving the way for the development of the global hydrogen market. The analysis carried out by the IHTF and the Hydrogen Council shows how alongside the vital climate benefits, cross-border supply chains in hydrogen can deliver cost-efficiency gains helping save some USD 3.7 trillion in energy system costs by 2050, providing good quality jobs across geographies. UAE remains committed to continued collaboration with our partners in Europe and Asia and to deliver on our goal to become one of the world's leading producers of low-carbon hydrogen by 2031.”

The roundtable discussion was informed by the analysis of the emerging trade routes plus import and export hubs, carried out by the IHTF and the Hydrogen Council, highlighting the following three key unlocks required to kick-start the scaling of a global, cross-border trade in hydrogen:

1. Greater clarity, certainty and support for demand drivers is critical at this stage of market development. Accelerating the implementation of the announced demand-pull measures remains key to secure the first 3-7 Mtpa of mandated demand to kick-start the market.

2. Infrastructure development for interregional corridors, allowing technologies to compete without ‘picking winners’ to allow the most cost-effective and sustainable solutions to thrive.

3. Aligned and consistent global market rules, industry standards and mutually recognized certification schemes will constitute the backbone for the development of an international hydrogen market.

Hydrogen Council Co-Chair Yoshinori Kanehana, Chairman of the Board, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., said: “The Hydrogen Council is pleased to co-host the second Ministerial-Executive Roundtable putting the spotlight on the progress being made in line with our COP28 Action Statement, bottlenecks and enabling measures for accelerating the development of cross-border value chains for hydrogen and its derivatives to stay on track with our net zero targets. Continued international cooperation on standards and certification solutions enabling market interoperability remains critical as we seek to create a truly global market.”

Hydrogen Council Co-Chair Sanjiv Lamba, CEO of Linde, said: “This is a critical time for public-private collaboration in hydrogen. While hydrogen production projects are maturing with many of them being announced and moving into FEED phase or beyond, demand-side uncertainty is causing delays in final investment decisions. The Hydrogen Council remains committed to advancing the deployment of the global supply chains with IHTF. By ensuring close collaboration between governments and industry to implement robust demand-side incentives coupled with strong industry partnerships, we can build investor confidence to get projects over the line.”

“Energy is the key driver for development. We have the technology and the knowledge to make low carbon economic and industrial development possible. That is why UNIDO prioritizes building hydrogen supply chains, which are so important for emerging markets and developing economies as they enter global hydrogen partnerships. The latest IHTF analysis shows how a truly global hydrogen economy has the potential to create up to 25 million jobs by 2050 in the sector. UNIDO as IHTF Secretariat fully supports public-private collaboration in the creation of cross-border trade corridors to drive a just transition to a green hydrogen economy that leaves no one behind” said UNIDO Managing Director, Gunther Beger.