EU announces €225 million green hydrogen fund in Chile partnership
"The global demand for hydrogen is skyrocketing, it will increase enormously over the [coming] years," she said in a statement.
She went on to highlight the fact that the EU has decided that, by 2030, it will both produce 10 million tonnes of green hydrogen domestically and import 10 million tonnes of green hydrogen to the bloc each year.
The fund was announced in conjunction with Chilean president Gabriel Boric, as von der Leyen also outlined the EU's Latin America Strategy. This includes a Global Gateway investment plan to invest €10 billion in Latin America, as well as the Caribbean.
"We need friends that are the producers of this green hydrogen," she added. "And for us, Chile, our friend, this is one of the most important projects that we can embark on together. So this Fund for Renewable Hydrogen here in Chile will support the development of this strategic industry. It will create good jobs here in Chile and it will boost your exports of renewable hydrogen to the world but of course also to partners, like the European Union."
The EU's strengthening of its bilateral relationship with Chile is supported by its Member States, as well as the private investment sector.
The president went on to commend Chile's provision of a clear, predictable and fair framework for companies in the renewables sector that have liquidity issues. "It is important to maintain existing investments and to attract new ones. This is what we are going to work on together," she said.
The agreement will also enhance Chile's access to the EU's Single Market, and support joint digital ambitions between the EU and Chile.
A strategic partnership for sustainable raw materials and the whole value chain will also be developed - with Chile being an important supplier of lithium to the world. von der Leyen said it is hoped that a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed soon on this matter.
"To conclude, we have a very vibrant and broad partnership that is based on shared values. Values which are reflected not only in our trade and investment relations but in our cooperation across the board," added von der Leyen. "It is now 50 years after the coup d'état, and the people of Chile know how precious freedom and democracy are and that we should never take them for granted. We have to stand up for them every single day."