UN unveils ‘guiding principles’ for net-zero H2 implementation
The United Nations High-Level Champions for Climate Action has announced that it has published the result of a months-long association to reinforce and ground discourse on the role of hydrogen in decarbonization efforts.
The 'Guiding Principles for Climate-aligned Hydrogen Deployment' will help stakeholders in managing complex issues of path dependency, emissions accounting, and health and socioeconomic equity.
These principles can help to restructure the emerging production and use of low- to zero-carbon hydrogen while boosting the standards of conduct by which firms and governments pursue it.
"It's high time for a principled approach to the energy transition. Efficiency, reliability, equity, and speed in the deployment of clean energy to meet the climate challenge are imperative," states Nigel Topping, UN High-Level Champion for Global Climate Action.
These principles extend from the Marrakech Partnership's Climate Action Pathways developed with input from its members, which consist of leading energy experts and organizations.
These show technologically and economically viable courses of action, by every actor, to decarbonize every sector before 2050.
The principles mark a new, collective approach to managing the complexities of transforming energy and industrial sectors while striving for a world with less than 1.5-degrees Celsius warming.
International cooperation between business, policymakers, and civil society can be reinforced through obedience to these principles to deliver UN Breakthrough Outcomes in decarbonizing end-use sectors with near-zero carbon energy sources.
These comprise focusing on the use of near-zero carbon-hydrogen where other solutions like efficiency and direct, renewable electrification are unavailable and full lifecycle emissions and pollution accounting and rigorous carbon intensity thresholds.
Stating the 'guiding principles are a useful playbook to policymakers, Manish Bapna, President and CEO of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), said "Hydrogen can play a valuable role in addressing global climate change by helping us tackle the most challenging sectors of our economy.
"But an overeager rush into hydrogen that ignores its serious risks could turn a possible climate solution into another climate problem. We can't let that happen. The new principles make an important contribution -- they articulate critical guardrails to ensure that hydrogen deployment occurs only in a manner that is climate-safe and protects our health and communities. This is a valuable playbook to policymakers."