The UK is keen to develop a strong partnership with Romania and Bulgaria in order to protect the climate and environment upon which we and future generations depend, Britain’s ambassador to Romania said Tuesday
The UK Science and Innovation Network in Bulgaria and Romania, and the British Embassies in both countries on Tuesday organized a hybrid conference on the role of hydrogen and energy from waste in energy transition, in Cluj, northwest Romania.
The aim of the conference was to showcase the UK’s strategies, S&I and business capability, as well as regional efforts and needs for collaboration. the embassy said in a statement sent to Universul.net.
British Ambassador Andrew Noble delivered a speech, in video format, at the
beginning of the conference, focusing on the importance of the event and setting out the main challenges in our shared purpose of achieving net zero and limiting global warming to 1.5C.
This is his speech as provided by the UK Embassy:
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and I’m sorry that commitments in Bucharest have prevented me from joining you today in Cluj. I’m delighted that my Embassy colleagues, Dr Emilia Pecheva, Chris Frean and Emanuela Cristescu are with you today. And I’m especially pleased that we have experts participating from Romania, Bulgaria and the UK to make this a really cutting edge discussion about how we collectively advance towards net zero – and specifically: how we can harness hydrogen in a green economy, and create energy from our waste.
Today’s conference is part of the British Government’s drive to tackle climate change and guarantee future energy security, working closely with our international partners.
I think there are five main reasons why today’s meeting is important.
Firstly, we need to achieve net zero and limit global warming to 1.5C. In the UK, we have made ambitious national commitments on climate change, reflected by the Glasgow Climate Pact – a historic agreement negotiated by the UK during our COP26 Presidency in 2021, which has now been signed by almost 200 countries. The Pact is a great step forward, yet we know that we all need to go much further, particularly to advance our commitments to reduce the use of fossil fuels. The second reason is because new technologies are an opportunity for us to create jobs through clean growth. The UK already knows that green means growth, as we have already created 400,000 new green jobs and whole new industries, whole new models of economic growth and production.
Thirdly, in order to succeed in this global challenge, we must share best practice in order to create the right regulatory environment, to incentivise business, and to ensure supply chains and skills are in place so that we can deploy new technologies efficiently and effectively.
Fourth, it’s great to be having this conversation in a city like Cluj. Innovation in energy issues can often be best achieved at city-level – where local government, business and citizens can come together more easily – before scaling up at the national level.
Finally, due to the devastating war Russia is waging in Ukraine and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we understand perhaps better than ever the need to act at scale and pace to achieve energy security and energy efficiency. This too is an international challenge.
So if we are thinking together about going further and faster to advance our global commitments, I think the good news is that there are a lot of good ideas already available to us. For example, the UK published its first Hydrogen Strategy in August 2021. This strategy establishes Hydrogen as a key means of delivering future energy independence and security. The UK’s ambition, and our road-map, to achieve 10GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030 represents an important contribution towards
tackling climate change.
The market itself is also delivering solutions. It is the market which has largely led the expansion of facilities in the UK for the conversion of waste to energy, with the number of plants roughly doubling since 2014, supporting local authorities in meeting the UK’s ambitious recycling targets by 2035 and creating a circular economy.
But there are still challenges and these require us to share ideas.
– How do we realise the opportunities which hydrogen provides? How do we
achieve them rapidly and then scale-up production? I think the UK has done
some useful work to prepare the regulatory and legislative foundations for a
hydrogen economy, including by establishing a “low carbon hydrogen
standard” and a certification scheme which supports international trade. We
are also focused on the need to finance innovation and to develop the supply
chains and skills we will all need.
– For waste, there are challenges for local authorities on the ground in pursuing reduce -reuse – recycle options. They need to incentivise the commercial viability of plants. And, of course how truly ‘green’ a waste-to-energy strategy is depends on the efficiency of the plant and the proportion of the waste that is biodegradable. And there’s the question of whether carbon capture might be applied to the design.
UK experts as well as UK Government officials are ready to share expertise and best practice, as we all work out our paths to include hydrogen and waste-to-energy in our decarbonisation strategies. The UK is keen to develop a strong partnership with Romania and Bulgaria in order to protect the climate and environment upon which we and future generations depend. We share the same challenges, and we need also to share the new approaches to technology and the opportunities which are opening up.
The UK also has much to learn from Romania and Bulgaria, where businesses are focusing on green production and technologies, including manufacturing solar panels, batteries and e-bicycles. Romania and Bulgaria are regional leaders in digital technologies and innovation, and climate-related organisations clearly have the ideas, talent and skills to achieve zero carbon. But before net zero becomes an achievable target, we need a clear roadmap of the real-world actions that will reduce emissions.
There is much to share in how we plan for, manage and deliver the transition to net zero.
So I’m sure you’re going to have some great exchanges today. Again, I’m really sorry not to be with you today but I look forward to hearing the results of the discussions and to seeing the follow-up. Good luck and thank you for being with us today in Cluj.