Hydrogen and Net Zero


In 2019, the UK Government committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, following recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change – which noted that this target was achievable, but only if the Government’s plans included the development of the hydrogen economy, particularly for sectors that are hard to decarbonise. In 2020, the Government established the Hydrogen Advisory Council, co-chaired by BEIS Secretary of State Kwasi Kwarteng and the Chair of Shell UK, Sinead Lynch. Hydrogen can be used to create electricity without CO2 emissions, but the creation of hydrogen itself is an energy intensive business. Currently, the majority of hydrogen is created by burning gas and releasing carbon into the atmosphere. How can the hydrogen be created in sufficient quantities without creating more emissions? And how to we move towards a hydrogen economy over the coming decades? As the UK develops its plans to decarbonise its economy, and in the year that it is hosting the global climate change meeting COP26, the Foundation wished to explore these issues. On 24 February, it brought together the COP26 High Level Climate Action Champion, the Deputy Chair of the Committee on Climate Change and the Chief Executive, Efficient Natural Resources, at Johnson Matthey. A video recording of the webinar, presentation slides and speaker audio from the event are available on the FST website.