South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa and the governments of the Netherlands and Denmark launched a $1 billion green hydrogen fund to help kick-start an industry in the fight against climate change.
South Africa's energy transition plan to set up an export hub for green hydrogen aims to use renewable energy without producing greenhouse gas emissions.
During a business forum held at the Capital hotel in Pretoria, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said South Africa has what it take to lead the fight against climate change.
“With its enormous renewable resources, South Africa is uniquely positioned to become a key player in the global hydrogen market, and the Netherlands is equally well-positioned to become a strategic partner. First as a partner for local development in the fields of renewable energy, hydrogen and infrastructure, and also as a hub for hydrogen imports,” he said.
These sentiments were echoed by his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen.
“Denmark is, of course, very proud to be a partner in South Africa's just energy transition. We will contribute with around R3.2 billion to improve supplies of green power and to strengthen the skills, the employment and the local development. And as a prime minister in Denmark, at the same time, I'm a social Democrat and I would really like to underline the importance of growth, fighting climate change and development. It has to go hand in hand,” she added.
President Ramaphosa welcomed his fellow heads of state efforts, saying their investments in renewable energy would be beneficial to all three countries.
“The engagements that have been held during this visit are very important for all our three countries. They provide a glimpse of what South Africa has to offer and to allow for direct exchanges on how we can best collaborate on the numerous available opportunities.”
Ramaphosa also used the opportunity to speak about recent travels to Russia and the Ukraine, saying it is important for the war to come to an end.
“We all agreed that it is important that that war should come to an end. And better still, if it is negotiated to an end, because all wars have to come to an end.”
South Africa wants to produce hydrogen for use in aviation, green steel, transport and more, as well as for export to the European Union.