The US and Germany at the sidelines of the G7 energy minister meeting in Berlin closed a climate and energy partnership aiming at a closer cooperation in offshore wind and hydrogen.
US special climate envoy John Kerry and German economics and climate minister Robert Habeck on Friday signed a joint declaration with the goal to accelerate action to reach net-zero, develop and deploy technologies to speed the energy transition, and promote ambitious climate policies and energy security in third countries.
“What Germany and the US have both shown is that, if you are an early mover country, if you are a country that invests now, moves into this transition, there are enormous benefits, economic, social and security benefits,” Kerry said, also promoting his First Movers Coalition initiative under which more than 50 major companies globally have committed to decarbonise heavy industry and long-distance transport.
“It is far more expensive if you wait than if you invest now.”
The two countries also established working groups on hydrogen, offshore wind, zero-emission vehicles and cooperation with third countries.
Both the US and Germany have a 30GW offshore wind target by 2030, and as part of the working group eye the transatlantic transfer of know-how, exchange of R&D and strategies to avoid capacity bottlenecks.
A US delegation is slated to visit a German offshore wind farm near the North Sea island of Heligoland in June.
Habeck at a joint press conference stressed that while in recent months the replacement of fossil energies from Russia had been the main effort of his government, the need to contain global warming has not disappeared.
Both countries said they recognise the central role of green hydrogen to decarbonize sectors that are hard to electrify.
As part of the hydrogen working group, the two countries plan an exchange on the regulation and certification of hydrogen, and want to hold a workshop on that next month.
“It is extremely important that markets are aligned,” Habeck said.
Hydrogen “is an energy source of the future, if we can eventually produce steel, cars, cement with hydrogen, then common standardisation is needed so that the products are comparable. Working on organizing the ramp-up [of green hydrogen] is the major task of the time.”
The US today are the second-biggest hydrogen producer in the world, and host more than half of all hydrogen pipelines installed globally, Germany’s energy and climate ministry pointed out.