Large-scale hydrogen infrastructure is now receiving research, development and deployment support around the world like never before.
This makes it all the more important that we get it right, at the outset, and at local levels.
It means scaling up hydrogen infrastructure using fair and equitable labor standards and paying prevailing wage.
It means that local communities hosting this infrastructure should benefit from doing so, to not repeat environmental justice sins of the past.
And a key to this is community consultation, which is not necessarily a given.
The Corporate Europe Observatory is “sounding the alarm” that the new race for hydrogen production may come at the expense of neo-colonial land grabs in the global South.
“’A big chunk of the green hydrogen that the EU plans to use will be imported from North Africa and the Middle East,” Belen Balanya, researcher at CEO, told Al Jazeera.
“While the EU is in bed with the gas industry and big corporations – who are steering the continent’s response to the energy crisis – it’s ordinary citizens in Europe and North Africa who will bear the brunt of this deeply flawed hydrogen strategy.”’
Even as 99% of hydrogen production is currently fossil-based, green hydrogen projects have also forcibly displaced indigenous communities in South Africa, Brazil, and Saudi mega-city Neom.’
“Mapping of 27 countries – mostly located in Africa – did not reveal a single hydrogen project in which the community had been consulted prior to the decision to proceed with the project.”
Create spaces in the right places, with civic participation that’s more than white faces.
That’s how the world should grow ‘dro.