Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper), A new study of what is described as the top 100 “highest-spenders” on EU campaigners lobbying claims to show that what has been called “Big Hydrogen” spends over €75.75 million a year on lobbying the EU institutions.
This is, it is also claimed, significantly more than “Big Finance” (€38.75 million).
The allegations are based on LobbyFacts data.
The study was conducted by Corporate Europe Observatory and WeSmellGas.
A statement from the two groups said it “exposes the dark side of the EU’s hydrogen craze – and the lobby firepower of the corporate giants driving it.”
This study, it is also said, is published a “few days after IEA’s figures for hydrogen showed that 99 percent of globally produced hydrogen is made from fossil fuels.”
The statement issued on Tuesday adds, “Green hydrogen amounts to less than 0.1 percent of hydrogen production (less than 0.08 million tonnes) – a stark contrast with the EU’s 2030 target of 20 million tonnes.
The comment came from Belén Balanyá, Researcher and Campaigner at Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO).
Balanyá said, “The EU is hyping up hydrogen as the miracle that will cure our fossil fuel addiction. The truth is dirtier: hydrogen risks actually extending fossil fuel use.
With the awareness that hydrogen will continue to be mostly fossil-based in the years to come, oil and gas majors like Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, and their lobby groups will use unrealistic targets to sneak fossil-based hydrogen through the back door.
“The hydrogen lobby has achieved plenty of wins. Their huge firepower and harmful track record of influence is worrying for ongoing and upcoming lobby battles. From the Hydrogen Package to the Critical Raw Materials Act, Big Hydrogen has its fingers in every pie” added the official.
The statement claims the study “also exposes the serious risks of large-scale green hydrogen production, which requires vast amounts of land, water, and renewable energy.”
It adds, “For instance, a third of the globally planned gigawatt-scale green hydrogen projects (41 out of 109 projects in our database) are in countries already facing high or extremely high water stress, including Spain, Namibia, Chile, or Morocco.”
A spokesperson for the climate justice collective WeSmellGas says:
“One thing is clear, EU hydrogen plans are a rebranded expansion of neo-colonial extractivist practices, including the large-scale appropriation of land, water, and energy in producing countries.
“Clearly the EU and its fossil-funded lobbies, have no intention of transforming the grossly unequal and ecologically damaging system that was the making of the climate crisis. The new plans herald a new era of green colonialism that will worsen global inequalities, engender violence and dispossession while diverting public funding from the genuinely renewable energy solutions we need to jointly tackle our climate and global inequality crises.”