Hydrogen Council – How A Global Coalition of CEOs Are Fighting Climate Change

If you have a pulse on the energy sector, you have probably seen the special report Global Warming of 1.5 °C published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) earlier this month. The report has everyone from Los Angeles to Tokyo talking about the immediate threat of climate change and was a stark reminder of the urgency to reduce carbon emissions.


At a recent Friends of Europe conference in Brussels, Dr. Daniela Jacob, coordinating lead author of the IPCC special report, gave a sense of the impressive number of experts, contributors and organisations that participated in the research. All of them agreed on the extreme urgency to fight climate change, especially by increasing collaboration between public and private stakeholders.


Hydrogen: an opportunity for our energy, environment and economy

We, as FTI Consulting, are proud to be part of this global effort, assisting our clients as they navigate the realities of our quickly changing world and prepare for the future. The Hydrogen Council is a great example of such efforts. Launched at the World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos, the Council is a first-of-its-kind global coalition of CEOs that brings together leading energy, transport and industry multinationals representing the entire hydrogen value chain. The Council was formed by 13 founding members to accomplish one objective: unlock scale markets for hydrogen by positioning it among key solutions for climate change and by advocating for its uptake.

Of all the available forms of energy, you might be wondering why the Council has chosen to consider hydrogen. Hydrogen is one of the major components of our universe. It is abundant, can be produced from renewables such as solar and wind and provide completely zero emission pathways. Members of the Hydrogen Council recognize the role hydrogen can play in a clean energy transition. From decarbonizing transport to heating your home, hydrogen is the Swiss army knife of energy – it provides a wide array of uses and has demonstrable value. As noted by a recent McKinsey report, by 2050, hydrogen could reduce CO2 emissions by 6 GT annually, provide 18% of the final energy demand, $2500 billion in annual sales, and 30 million jobs around the world. The Council believes the case for hydrogen is clear. Hydrogen will prove beneficial to our energy system, the environment, and the global economy.

The Hydrogen Council acts on a global stage

For the last 18+ months, FTI has helped the Council make significant progress towards this objective. Since its inception, it has become a well-recognised and respected organisation that has mobilised stakeholders around the world to accelerate investment and support this effort. The Council has not only partnered with international organisations and regional trade associations in Europe, USA, Japan, Korea and China, but it has also engaged with influencers via media, social media and high-profile events around the globe.

Among others, the Council has met with the international investor community at a high-profile New York Climate Week event and joined the COP23 Climate Conference in Bonn, Germany, to work with policymakers and strategise ways to reach Paris Agreement goals. The Hydrogen Council also travelled to China, one of the fastest growing hydrogen markets, to create new opportunities and develop relationships with key players in the region. And, most recently in September 2018, the Council went to the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, USA, where major energy players convened to present ambitious commitments in support of a clean energy transition. While in California, the Hydrogen Council CEOs presented their vision on stage alongside other climate action leaders.

How FTI helps move the Council forward

The FTI Team – a transatlantic core team based in Washington, DC and Brussels – acts as a central hub supporting the coalition on all fronts. We regularly connect with FTI experts in other geographies – most recently New York City, San Francisco, Tokyo and Beijing to deliver on the Council’s diverse and quickly evolving priorities across a range of areas: internal and external communication, digital and social media, public affairs, capital markets and others. With more than 50 members today (including the likes of 3M, Airbus, Toyota Motor Group and Shell) present in 11 countries and six different time zones, we are working closely with the coalition’s leadership to shape the group’s strategy and help deliver on its objectives, no matter the geography or expertise required.

What makes this project particularly exciting is the unique combination of people across cultures and backgrounds, all working together to pioneer a new idea in a complex and rapidly changing environment. Every day, we learn from this rich pool of expertise (and personalities!) and work to turn ideas into actions that get our client a step closer to their ultimate goal. Through the many adventures we have had with the Council – whether in the Swiss snow in Davos, rush hour traffic in Beijing or the chaos of a COP climate conference – members of the group have become more than clients to us. And we can’t wait to see what’s next for them. You can follow their journey with us on Twitter @HydrogenCouncil. And if you want to talk about how we could help you with your energy transition, coalition building or global advocacy needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch!


FTI Consulting’s Hydrogen Council team are Ivana Jemelkova and Amber Glenn in Washington DC and Ivan Pozgaj, Harriet Barham and Anais Laporte in Brussels. 

The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting Inc., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees. 

© 2018 FTI Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy

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