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US, Germany to boost cooperation on shift to clean energy

BERLIN (AP) – The United States (US) and Germany signed an agreement yesterday to deepen their cooperation on shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy in an effort to rein in climate change.

The deal will see the two countries work together to develop and deploy technologies that will speed up that clean energy transition, particularly in the area of offshore wind power, zero-emissions vehicles and hydrogen.

The US and Germany pledged to also collaborate on promoting ambitious climate policies and energy security worldwide.

US climate envoy John Kerry said both countries aim to reap the benefits of shifting to clean energy early, through the creation of new jobs and opportunities for businesses in the growing market for renewables.

Such markets depened on common standards of what hydrogen can be classified as “green”, for example. Officials will now work on reaching a common definition to ensure hydrogen produced on one side of the Atlantic can be sold on the other side.

German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck with US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry at the meeting. PHOTO: AP

Germany’s energy and climate minister Robert Habeck said the agreement reflected the urgency of tackling global warming. Scientists have said steep emissions cuts need to happen worldwide this decade if the goals set in the 2015 Paris climate accord are to be met.

“Time is literally running out,” Habeck said.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of a meeting of energy and climate ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations.

The group was expected to announce a series of new commitments on tackling climate change, including a common target for phasing out the burning of coal for electricity and ramping up financial support to poor countries.