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A picture taken on May 25 shows the Eiffel Tower being illuminated during a few minutes with electricity produced from certified renewable hydrogen in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP via Getty Images

Renewing an effort started at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit, leaders of 23 nations said Wednesday they are redoubling their efforts to fund clean energy technology.

Why it matters: The U.S.-led component of the alliance, known as Mission Innovation 2.0, will focus on carbon dioxide removal, making clean long-distance shipping a reality and advancing the goal of clean hydrogen, deputy Energy secretary David Turk tells Axios.

The details: Mission Innovation involves governments collaborating to boost clean energy funding and projects. The alliance includes the biggest carbon emitters, including the top two, China and the U.S., as well as Brazil, India and the European Union.

  • As part of the effort, China, Italy and the U.K. plan to work to demonstrate how to integrate renewable sources of power, whose output can vary with the time of day and weather conditions, into electric grids in different parts of the globe.
  • One U.S. focus, joined by the EU, Chile, U.K. and Australia, will be on cutting costs for clean hydrogen, which could become a useful transportation fuel, among other applications.
  • Clean hydrogen refers to hydrogen gas generated using renewable energy, or natural gas if carbon emissions are captured and stored, to fuel cargo ships or large trucks or store energy.

What they're saying: "Of course if you focus on climate change, our emissions are under 15% of the global total," Turk told Axios. "So we've got to collaborate, we've got to cajole, we've got an incentive to work with other countries around the world, in order for them to deploy clean energy technologies and innovate technologies going forward."

  • According to Turk, the new wave of interest in clean hydrogen technologies is different than previous times the gas' potential has been touted, such as under former President George W. Bush. It comes from the availability of more political will to slash emissions and new technologies being within reach, Turk said.
  • "I don't think we had the hard work going in to figure out how you actually decarbonize all parts of your economy," Turk said. "I've never seen the Europeans, for instance, not only individual countries in Europe, but the European Commission and the European Union has focused on hydrogen as ever before."

What's next: Mission Innovation 2.0 is launching at a virtual summit hosted by Chile that runs through June 6.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 8, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Study: Vast majority of fossil fuels needs to stay in ground to hit Paris targets

Phillips 66 oil refinery from Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park, Wilmington, Calif. (Citizen of the Planet/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Vast quantities of oil, natural gas and coal need to stay in the ground in order for the world to have even a 50% chance of meeting the Paris Climate Agreement's temperature target, a new study finds.

Why it matters: The research paints a stark picture of a world in which fossil fuel production must begin declining either now or within the next few years.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 8, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Mining data to mine battery metals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A startup is using artificial intelligence to find new sources of metals that power electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies.

Why it matters: The world desperately needs new supplies of lithium, cobalt and other metals to accelerate the shift to EVs and renewable energy, and machine learning can help narrow the search.

Updated 59 mins ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.