EU to sign hydrogen agreement with Egypt at Cop27

Agreement will establish a framework for investments

Guests enter the convention centre hosting Cop27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. AP
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The European Union has said that it will sign a partnership agreement on hydrogen and renewable energy with Egypt during Cop27, which is set to start this week in Sharm El Sheikh.

The agreement will establish a framework for investments and is part of Brussels’ strategy to import 10 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030 in addition to producing 10 million tonnes domestically, an EU official said on Friday.

“We are reaching out gradually to our partners like Egypt to help make this a reality,” said the official.

The agreement with Egypt will aim to establish “conducive certification of renewable hydrogen that can be traded between Egypt and Europe”, added the official.

The EU will also sign agreements next week with countries such as Namibia and Kazakhstan.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued a joint statement in June after a meeting in Cairo stating that they would focus on renewable energy partnerships.

Egypt, the EU and Israel in parallel signed a trilateral agreement for the export of natural gas to Europe.

Ms von der Leyen will be in Sharm El Sheikh early next week and is expected to make propositions regarding renewable hydrogen trading during roundtables on Tuesday.

The European Commission’s executive vice-president Frans Timmermans will then take over negotiations later in the week.

The Egyptian government is expected to launch its green hydrogen strategy during Cop27, which will take place from November 6-18, Deutsche Welle previously reported.

Egypt is on course to ensuring 100 per cent of its national projects meet green criteria by 2030, Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad told The National in September.

Gulf countries are also stepping up hydrogen exchanges with Europe. The UAE’s first shipment of low-carbon ammonia to Germany was completed last month.

In parallel to its climate pledges, Europe has sought new gas contracts this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, drawing accusations of hypocrisy from the developing world.

The EU official said Brussels was committed to doing “everything it can” to limit global warming to 1.5°C this century. Brussels is introducing regulation that aims to make the continent climate neutral by 2050.

Even if all the pledges made so far are delivered, the planet is still on track for an average rise of 2.7°C, a UN report has said.

Updated: November 07, 2022, 11:44 AM