As in previous years, the conference was opened by German political heavyweights: Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Minister of Economy & Energy Peter Altmaier.
German Foreign Minister said that Germany is ready to invest €2 billion over the coming years to further stimulate the international hydrogen market.
- Alongside renewable sources of energy, hydrogen offers the best way out of the global climate disaster that fossil fuels got us into
- Consequently, a tremendous future market is taking shape right now in this domain
- If oil was formerly the black gold, then hydrogen is the invisible gold of the future.
- We must support today’s exporters of fossil fuels if we want to avoid disruptions on the global political stage
- We will expand its dialogue with fossil fuel producers such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and others, to encourage them to also adapt their business models in time
- As part of these efforts, we are currently working on establishing hydrogen offices with, among others, Moscow and Riyadh
The Head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also joined the event from Brussels.
The new Head of the EC considers it possible to increase this goal to 55%.
An ambitious Green Deal would be high-cost.
The transition to a carbon-neutral economy within 10 years will cost the EU a trillion euros of investment.
Ursula von der Leyen stated:
- We will invest in clean hydrogen as never before
- After the pandemic, there can be no back-sliding
- No investment in fossil fuel economy
- A bit more than a year ago, Europe has said, indeed, that it wants to become the 1st climate-neutral continent by 2050
- Our European Green Deal is our strategy for sustainable growth
- Now it is also our roadmap out of the crisis
- Together with the EU budget, we are investing EUR 1.8 trillion
- This will bring massive investments, to build forward better – and more sustainable
Kerry's dog, a labrador named Ben, sometimes appeared in the live stream, what delighted the viewers who were a bit tired of rather routine online events.
J.Kerry noted that:
- Hydrogen is one of our greatest opportunities, whole economies can be built on it
- The US government plans to be carbon-free by 2035
- We have to cut the emissions by half, and I believe that we can do it!
- It wouldn’t be easy - but we definitely can do it!
President Biden has announced a plan to spend $2 trillion over 4years to increase the use of clean energy, while rapidly moving away from coal, oil and gas.
Biden has moved to reinstate the US to the Paris climate agreement just hours after being sworn in as president.
This decision was welcomed in the EU, signifying the renaissance of the transatlantic partnership.
«The United States is back on board!», German Foreign Minister Maas said enthusiastically.
I was invited to speak today to world leaders like at #BETD21— Vanessa Nakate (@vanessa_vash) March 16, 2021
They screened my speech, cut my time repeatedly and said I couldn’t call out leaders.
They censored my voice, so I went off script. pic.twitter.com/0YWWPBncDi
Ugandan climate activist Nakate added:
- You should not ask activists to come here and speak at events to make you feel better and then censor them
- it is time to stop investing in uneconomical fossil fuel commitments because we cannot eat coal and we cannot drink oil
The 2-days conference was attended by a great number of guests, among them:
- Fatih Birol, Director of the International Energy Agency,
- Francesco la Camera, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA),
- Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy,
- 50 national energy or foreign ministers