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Accelerating SDGs, diversity, equity, and inclusion in hydrogen

Alongside the vital climate benefits and cost-efficiency gains, a truly global hydrogen economy can provide meaningful contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both in emerging markets and in developed countries, fostering just transition, boosting sustainable growth, and providing clean jobs.

DUBAI, UAE, December 5, 2023Alongside the vital climate benefits and cost-efficiency gains, a truly global hydrogen economy can provide meaningful contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both in emerging markets and in developed countries, fostering just transition, boosting sustainable growth, and providing clean jobs.

Today’s event, Accelerating SDGs, diversity, equity, and inclusion in hydrogen, part of the COP28 Action Agenda on Hydrogen, put the spotlight on opportunities for unlocking SDG benefits of the hydrogen economy and addressing the questions around land and water use.

It marked the launch of the SDG Compass for Hydrogen, jointly created by the Hydrogen Council, WBCSD and ERM, designed to pave the way for an SDG Roadmap for the Hydrogen Economy – a strategic pathway with time-bound actions enabling the hydrogen economy to contribute to the delivery of the SDGs and demonstrate its potential transformative impact.

Alicia Eastman, President of InterContinental Energy, and Dr. Elisabeth Dietl, Senior Governmental Affairs Manager at thyssenkrupp Nucera, Co-Leads of the SDG Compass, said: “In this project, we focus on identifying case studies and examples demonstrating best practices by industry leaders and the potential impact of policy support to increase the capacity of clean hydrogen and deliver on the SDGs.”

Dr. David Hart, Partner, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, ERM, said: “Done right, the Hydrogen Economy can be a force for good in catalysing societal and environmental benefits right across the value chain. ERM is proud to be working with the Hydrogen Council and WBCSD on an SDG Compass and Roadmap, to highlight best practice and ensure that hydrogen developments have a lasting positive impact.”

Mariana Heinrich, Director Energy, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), said: “A sustainable hydrogen economy can deliver diverse socioeconomic and environmental benefits in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, both in emerging and developed markets. At WBCSD, we believe industry and government can do more to boost this sustainable growth potential, provide clean jobs and foster a just transition across the hydrogen value chain. The SDG Compass, that we are developing in partnership with the Hydrogen Council, and following 2024 Roadmap helps companies to integrate SDG-based criteria into emerging hydrogen business models.”

James Mnyupe, Green Hydrogen Commissioner, Namibia, said: “Hydrogen is not only an energy vector that can accelerate decarbonisation globally but also a key to unlocking green industrialisation, creating clean jobs and boosting economic growth in emerging markets and developing economies. Congratulations to the team that presented the SDG Compass for Hydrogen today and I look forward to our continued cooperation on the development of the roadmap with best practices in maximising local value creation with hydrogen.”

Petra Schwager, UNIDO, highlighted the importance of supporting the development of local demand and industrial growth alongside export projects, especially in emerging markets and developing economies.

The hydrogen economy has the potential to create over 30 million jobs globally by 2050. One of the key prerequisites for moving towards a global and equitable clean hydrogen economy and a sustainable net zero future is the need for governments and industry need to increase their efforts to develop and promote a diverse talent pool.

Featuring a dialogue on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the hydrogen economy, the event brought together representatives of the relevant platforms and initiatives, including H2-DEIA, Women Energise Women and FirstGlobal.

Dr. Sunita Satyapal, Director US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), and IPHE Vice-Chair, as well as co-lead on various international hydrogen initiatives and Director of the US Hydrogen Interagency Taskforce, has been spearheading the launch of H2-DEIA, a global platform to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) to enable a skilled and diverse global hydrogen workforce. 

Aligned with DEIA principles, Dr. Satyapal has also recognized Dean Kamen and FIRST Global for their exceptional leadership aimed at reaching two billion of the world’s youth—inspiring young individuals to pursue STEM careers and cultivating a future generation of leaders that will ultimately solve some of the world’s challenging problems, collectively.

Jeff Marootian, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, who attended the event in person, has placed a high priority on addressing DEIA in numerous DOE activities, aligned with the initiatives presented at COP.


About The Hydrogen Council

The Hydrogen Council is a global CEO-led initiative that brings together leading companies with a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the clean energy transition.

Using its global reach to promote collaboration between governments, industry and investors, the Council provides guidance on accelerating the deployment of hydrogen solutions around the world. It also acts as a business marketplace, bringing together a diverse group of 140+ companies based in 20+ countries across the entire hydrogen value chain, including large multinationals, innovative SMEs, and investors.

The Hydrogen Council also serves as a resource for safety standards and an interlocutor for the investment community, while identifying opportunities for regulatory advocacy in key geographies.

To find out more visit and follow us on X/Twitter @HydrogenCouncil and LinkedIn

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