Brussels, September 12 – The European Parliament today confirmed a final deal on new renewable energy rules for the European Union, stopping short of allowing hydrogen produced by burning fossil fuels to count towards renewables targets for the industrial sector.

Under the terms of the finalised Renewable Energy Directive, the European Union has agreed targets to ensure 42% of the hydrogen used in industry by 2030 is produced from renewable sources such as wind or solar power.

A push from fossil fuel lobbyists and a group of member states including Hungary and Poland would have allowed part of this target to be met using so-called ‘blue hydrogen’ – which is produced by burning fossil gas.

Dominic Eagleton, senior gas campaigner at Global Witness said: “The idea that you can label a fuel made by burning fossil gas as ‘renewable’ is a cruel joke – so it’s good news that the EU has stopped short of supporting this. Investing in blue hydrogen would be an enormous, expensive mistake for Europeans and the climate.

Blue hydrogen relies on unproven technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions. Last year, Global Witness found that Shell’s flagship blue hydrogen project emits more carbon dioxide than it captures.