Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, said with the world facing the twin challenges of energy security and decarbonisation, cities need to share knowledge and work together.

Green hydrogen is a key focus for Japan. With the Asian country relying on overseas fossil fuels for most of its energy, developing renewably sourced hydrogen energy is important from security and carbon perspectives.

As it aims to expand its green hydrogen industry to 3m tonnes a year by 2030, the development of international supply chains is becoming an increasingly key issue.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is accelerating its co-operation efforts under the ‘HTT’ slogan (which stands for saving, generating and storing electricity). It wants to have full use of green hydrogen ‘in all fields’ by 2050.

She said hydrogen featured in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, from the Olympic cauldron to the athletes’ village and fuel cell buses.

After the Games, the village was equipped with a hydrogen station, with hydrogen supplied to blocks through pipelines, marking the first practical use of hydrogen in this field in Japan. “The utilisation of hydrogen through this kind of urban development will also be a major legacy of the Games,” she said.

Sarawak Premier Abang Openg said it has developed prototype production of hydrogen which is used through public buses and cars, and developing smart cities based on renewable energy.

With 70% of its power mix derived from hydropower, Sarawak has high hopes for green hydrogen, and it is targeting 100,000 tonnes by 2027.

“Now we are collaborating with Japanese countries to find out what we can do to produce hydrogen at an affordable price,” he said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said with cities making up 85% of the world’s GDP and accounting for 70% of global CO2 emissions, their role in combating climate change is clear.

“Events like this one are so critical for giving cities the vision and tools they need to take bold climate action,” he said, adding that the US west coast city is accelerating its target of a zero carbon power grid to 2035. He said it is working closely with partners such as Mitsubishi and Toyota at the Port of LA for heavy duty equipment as it aims for zero emissions cargo handling by 2030.

He pledged that the 2028 Olympic Games “will be the most sustainable ever”, serving as a catalyst to public transport infrastructure and zero emission transport.

Sanjay Kumar, Ambassador of India to Japan, said India’s National Hydrogen Mission proposes a framework for demand creation, supporting indigenous manufacturing, R&D and pilot projects. It is targeting 5m tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030, and wants to be a major force in green ammonia exports.

“The Gas Authority of India has started India’s first pilot project of blending hydrogen in the natural gas system, a pilot project for mixing about 2% by volume hydrogen in city gas stations at various cities. It is also setting up a 10MW PEM electrolyser to produce 4.3m tonnes a day of green hydrogen, and in the process of partnering for electrolyser manufacturing for the production of green hydrogen.”

Yoshinori Kanehana, Chairman of the Board, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Co-Chair of the Hydrogen Council, believes blue hydrogen will be the most competitive mid-term solution in multiple regions, ahead of the growth in renewable power generation capacity. “Combining the two resources will lead to lower energy system costs overall, and a faster transition.”

Dominic Perrottet, Premier of New South Wales, which is targeting net zero by 2050, said developing supply chains for green hydrogen is “at the top of our list”. Its hydrogen strategy will support up to A$270bn of investment.

“The key is clean energy production, and particularly green hydrogen, and we have extensive infrastructure to support hydrogen production and export,” he said.

Bradfield City Centre in western Sydney is being developed as a ‘future focus city’ and close to the new Western Sydney International Airport, its export gateway to Asia. The state also benefits from two deepwater ports which can handle high volume exports, located close to renewable energy developments.

He said it is building on the long-standing trading relationship to connect its emerging hydrogen generation hubs with Japanese trading partners.

“We’re aiming to cut the cost of green hydrogen production by more than 50% to under $2.80 per kilogram,” said Perrottet. “We will be well positioned to export green hydrogen, green steel and ammonia to a range of markets including Japan, South Korea and the EU.”

Shihab Ahmed Alfaheem, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the UAE – which will host COP28 – said hydrogen is the future of green energy and key to decarbonisation industries.

The UAE was the first country in the region to join the international partnership for hydrogen and fuel cells, launched the World Green Economy organisation to achieve energy transition and set up a Hydrogen Alliance – but it is in funding where the Emirates is making a big difference, investing more than $50bn across 70-plus countries, and it plans to invest an additional $50bn by 2030.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is operating the first green hydrogen project, a 1.2MW pilot facility at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

“Hydrogen is going to be one of the central pillars of the carbon footprint reduction strategy,” he said. “This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Japan and we’re looking forward to diversifying our relations and sustainable projects.” Both countries have signed a hydrogen co-operation agreement.

Concluding the forum, Governor Koike said with COP27 being hosted in Egypt next month, now is the time to accelerate actions.

“Let us all work together and make a concerted effort to confront the crisis we face,” she said.