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Green hydrogen: fueling just decarbonization or ‘greening’ extractivism?

Februar 22 @ 15:00 - Februar 23 @ 18:00

Veranstaltungsinformationen vor Hintergrund mit H2-Tank

Green hydrogen is being discussed globally as one of the necessary contributions to a decarbonized economy. However, its role in achieving a just transition is controversial. While some argue that it has the potential to contribute significantly to the transition to just and sustainable energy systems, e.g. by improving air quality for communities adjacent to industrial zones or by creating new sources of income and green jobs in structurally weak regions, others point to its multiple socio-ecological risks:

In particular, the expected massive expansion of hydrogen infrastructure, such as giant wind and solar farms, pipelines, transmission grids and desalination plants in potential producing countries in the global South, risks fueling conflicts over land and freshwater with negative consequences for ecosystems and frontline communities. Moreover, as the hydrogen economy is largely driven by actors in the global North, there are concerns that green hydrogen may lead to deepened South-North dependencies and a ‘greening’ of extractivism rather than to a just decarbonization and equitable trade relations. In light of these uncertainties, this online conference asks how to create socially just and ecologically sound hydrogen production chains. To this end, it brings together academics, policy makers, activists and business representatives from Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Organizing Committee

Alexandra Tost (Research Institute for Sustainability, Potsdam), Aliaksei Patonia (The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies), Benno Fladvad (University of Hamburg), Franziska Müller (University of Hamburg), Rainer Quitzow (Research Institute for Sustainability, Potsdam)


Day 1 - Thursday, 22nd February 
15:00 - 15:15: Introduction by Benno Fladvad and Franziska Müller, Universität Hamburg
15:15 – 16:45: Panel 1: Green hydrogen, just transitions and North-South relationships
17:15 – 18:45: Panel 2: Hydrogen Governance and Democracy

Day 2 - Friday, 23rd February
14:00 - 15:30: Panel 3: Hydrogen for the decarbonization of industry: potentials and pitfalls of green industrial development
16:00 - 17:30: Panel 4: Green hydrogen and water justice
17:30 - 17:45: Wrap up and outlook by Alexandra Tost and Rainer Quitzow, RIFS Potsdam

Speakers include:

•    Joanne Bate, COO, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa
•    Marie Dejonghe, Research Associate, University of Ghent
•    Laima Eicke, Research Associate, RIFS Potsdam, Germany
•    Innocent Haingura, Frack Free Namibia
•    Nuria Hartmann, Consultant, Hinicio’s Business Unit Chile
•    Joe Kendrick, Analyst, Blue Green Alliance, USA
•    Michèle Knodt, Professor of Political Science; ARIADNE research cluster, TU Darmstadt
•    Benjamin Schütze, Emmy Noether Junior Research Group 'Renewable Energies, Renewed Authoritarianisms?', Uni Freiburg
•    Neelke Wagner, Powershift, Climate and Resource Justice Expert, Powershift

Please, register here for your online participation:


Februar 22 @ 15:00
Februar 23 @ 18:00


RIFS Potsdam
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