OTTAWA—Earlier today, the federal government released the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, a roadmap for how this country can position itself as a leader in the emerging market for hydrogen and use this alternative fuel to help lower emissions.
“The Hydrogen Strategy for Canada demonstrates that the government is serious about investing in the transformative solutions necessary to meet climate targets and grow the economy,” says Brent Dancey, director of marine climate action at Oceans North. “We are pleased to see that the Strategy acknowledges the importance of Canada’s marine sector. In order to become a leader in this industry, the next step is significant and immediate investment in demonstration projects. Canada’s future competitiveness will depend on our ability to de-risk investment, dismantle barriers and prove cost-effectiveness. The maritime sector and ports are ideal hubs for getting started and building momentum because they are at the intersection of transportation and industry, with proven technology available for numerous port-based applications.
The shipping industry in particular offers an opportunity to lower emissions while developing world-leading expertise in hydrogen technology. Shipping currently accounts for 80% of world trade and more than one billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year—on par with the top-five emitting countries. Unless we take action, these emissions are set to grow 50% by 2050 compared to 2018 levels. Given the long life of ships, the shipping industry’s transition to hydrogen fuels and other zero-emissions technology will require zero-emissions ships to hit the water by 2030, meaning we have to start now to achieve net zero by 2050.
Going forward, the government should work with ports and the shipping industry on programs to incentivize the domestic market for hydrogen. These will be among the critical first steps to unlocking the most ambitious pathways for future hydrogen production, use and eventually export.”
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Oceans North is a charitable organization that supports marine conservation in partnership with Indigenous and coastal communities, and works to protect the health of the ocean in a changing climate.