Panama has high hopes for a new trade body to agree on standards for renewable hydrogen and close the ‘significant gaps’ that exist
Panama is planning to set up an intergovernmental organisation to facilitate international trade in renewable hydrogen and its derivatives, the country’s undersecretary for energy, tells Rosilena Lindo to Argus.
The country aims to officially launch its plans for the body — dubbed the Hydrogen International Trade Organisation — at this year’s Cop 28 climate talks in December in Dubai.
It has spoken informally with “more than 16 countries” regarding the plans and “everybody is on board”, Lindo says.
Panama plans to have at least 10 countries ratify and approve a treaty setting out the organisation’s ambitions within a year of the December launch. It will jointly decide with the other participating states on a headquarters and first director for the organisation, according to Lindo.
An initial goal for the body would be to “bring everyone on the same page when talking about certification and standards”, Lindo says. “This will be key to ensuring that we are trading the same or similar type of fuel.”
Several national governments and other organisations are in the process of developing hydrogen certification schemes and standards that they hope will find international recognition. But progress in the field has been limited. Renewable energy agency Irena said earlier this year that there are still “significant gaps” in existing attempts at certification, which could hamper trade.
Panama will launch its national green hydrogen strategy on 28 April, building on an initial roadmap released in January last year. The strategy will set specific goals for renewable hydrogen production in Panama — 500,000 t/yr by 2030, 2mn t/yr by 2040 and 4mn t/yr by 2050.