Global Hydrogen Diplomacy

H2Diplo: Global Hydrogen Diplomacy

Project website of Germany’s hydrogen diplomacy offices, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office


Sustainable energy foreign policy is one of the German Government’s core aims. Diplomatic relations to promote the international market roll-out of hydrogen has a key role to play in this. In line with the National Hydrogen Strategy, the focus is on green hydrogen, which is generated by electrolysis using power from renewable energy sources. In pursuit of this goal, the Federal Foreign Office is stepping up its energy foreign policy dialogue with various partner countries.

The GIZ Global Hydrogen Diplomacy project – or H2-Diplo for short – operates at this interface.

The project goals include highlighting options for a decarbonised energy export industry, particularly for export and transit countries for fossil fuels such as natural gas and mineral oil. Partnerships have already been set up with Nigeria, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, while others are at the planning stage. Hydrogen diplomacy by the Federal Foreign Office is thus not only contributing towards international climate action, it is also helping to ensure energy and supply security in Germany and the European Union (EU).

Measure 38 of the National Hydrogen Strategy

In relations with the current exporters of fossil fuels, the Federal Government will intensify the dialogue with a view to a gradual global energy transition including hydrogen. Fresh opportunities are to be taken which are offered by an at least partial substitution of fossil fuels by hydrogen, not least with important energy policy stakeholders.

The global expansion of renewable energies and the production of green hydrogen have a key role to play in achieving the global climate targets.

The H2-Diplo project is designed to strengthen bilateral cooperation at diplomatic level and to help overcome political and macroeconomic challenges involved in transforming fossil fuel export economies.

It advises fossil fuel export and transit countries on harnessing the foreseeable global demand for green hydrogen as an opportunity to develop a sustainable national economy. Risks associated with this transformation need to be identified and minimised at an early stage in order to avoid security crises. In line with Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) of the 2030 Agenda, steps are also being taken to support development and economic diversification in the partner countries of the Global South and to promote the expansion of renewable energy sources there.

Agreement needs to be reached at international level concerning paths for production, transport and use, supply and demand and the establishment of uniform international standards in order to set up a global trade in green hydrogen and its derivatives. This will enable the international market roll-out to be integrated into a coherent global governance and trade regime and will provide additional security for investment decisions. The H2-Diplo project thus offers an opportunity to help shape these structures right from the start.

In Focus: H2-Diplo

The core elements of the project are the hydrogen diplomacy offices in the partner countries. These offices cooperate closely with the foreign and energy ministries in each country, along with other stakeholders. The German embassy in each partner country is also involved. Some of the largest oil-producing countries have already begun adopting a strategic position on hydrogen; Saudi Arabia is planning to draw up a national hydrogen strategy and is investing huge amounts in the expansion of renewable energies, for example. Other partner countries are only just beginning to discover the topic of hydrogen. Cooperation is thus tailored to meet the needs of each particular partner country. Work focuses on energy policy, geopolitical and macroeconomic aspects in order to promote future-proofed economic development in the partner countries.

The cooperative approach adopted in the transformation of the global energy system therefore also helps to maintain peace and security.

Country components

The hydrogen diplomacy offices in Nigeria, Angola, Saudi Arabia, as well as Kazakhstan and Ukraine (currently being prepared) are cultivating a partnership to assess and present the potential for green hydrogen.

They provide support for the partner countries to reform export structures and their trade relations in a sustainable way.

At the same time, a dialogue is being initiated on geopolitical and foreign policy aspects of the topic of hydrogen. This is being achieved through cooperation with local partners and through advisory services to the German embassies. Knowledge of macroeconomic opportunities and risks of the emerging hydrogen sector is pooled within the project and supports these goals. The project uses a wide variety of event formats to promote exchange at different levels. The hydrogen diplomacy offices also cooperate with stakeholders from the field of politics and civil society in each partner country, offering support and advice.

Global component

In addition to carrying out tailored activities in the individual partner countries, the project also advises German missions abroad throughout the world on energy security and hydrogen. To do so, it maintains further bilateral partnerships, for example with Oman, and supports the Federal Foreign Office by conducting geopolitical analyses. The focus is on various event formats, organised and implemented using the expertise pooled in the project.

Five region-specific events have already been held to provide training on hydrogen for almost 100 German missions abroad, for example.

As well as technical details, geopolitical challenges and macroeconomic opportunities, this training also addresses the needs of the focus regions in detail.


Official opening: 26 May 2022

Contact: Gina Lagunes, Head of the German–Nigerian Hydrogen Office



Official opening: 12 May 2022, in cooperation with the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad

Contact: Vandré Spellmeier, Head of the German–Angolan Hydrogen Office



Official opening: 27 February 2022

Contact: Quentin Blommaert, Head of the German–Saudi Hydrogen Diplomacy Office



Official opening still to be announced

Contact: Rolf Behrndt, Head of the German–Ukrainian Hydrogen Diplomacy Office



Contact: Dr Ruth Prelicz



Official opening still to be announced

Contact: tbd


  • Hydrogen Diplomacy Office
  • Hydrogen Diplomacy Dialogue


The global community’s efforts to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C compared with pre-industrial levels are having far-reaching geopolitical impacts. Anthropogenic emissions – from energy generation, transport, and heating and cooling of living spaces – have greatly increased the concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, such as methane, in the atmosphere. There is a consensus within the global community that climate neutrality should be achieved as quickly as possible.

Germany aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 65 per cent by 2030 and to become climate neutral by 2045. The energy foreign policy pursued by the Federal Foreign Office, which the H2-Diplo project is helping to implement, plays a key role in achieving these targets. 

International partnerships are vital for Germany to meet its growing demand for energy. Renewable energy has an advantage over fossil fuels in that it is available in large amounts in many places across the globe. This reduces the overall dependency on individual partner countries.

»Looking ahead, we have not thirty, not twenty, not ten years – we have eight years left to almost halve global emissions – that’s the commitment we made in Glasgow [at COP26].«

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in her opening speech at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue 2022

In its efforts to become climate neutral, the German Government is focusing on electrification. The use of green hydrogen is of central importance for decarbonisation in areas of industry in which electrification is not an option, for example in steel production, in the chemicals industry or for emission-free aviation and shipping. Imported green hydrogen is vital for Germany’s energy security. In some cases, existing trade partnerships can be used for this, but new partnerships also need to be set up. Global energy relations are thus undergoing fundamental changes.

On the initiative of the Federal Foreign Office, the H2-Diplo project supports the targets of the Paris Agreement through diplomatic exchange and is helping to expand the use of renewable energy in its partner countries and elsewhere across the globe. This is designed to provide a stable framework within which the global energy trade can be successfully transformed.

Hydrogen: opportunities and risks

Trade in hydrogen is a fast-growing market. According to forecasts by the International Energy Agency (IEA), global demand is set to almost double by 2030. Nevertheless, investments have carried a risk up to now, and various instruments are used at policy level to reduce this risk. Establishing an international market for trade in green hydrogen also entails several challenges. Pipelines needs to be adapted to carry hydrogen molecules (which are smaller than natural gas molecules), for example. Hydrogen could also conceivably be transported by ship, although market-ready solutions are not yet available.

Diversification of the transit options is just as important in terms of security policy as the diversification of trade partners and energy sources.

High costs and inadequate infrastructure still pose obstacles to both international transport and the mass production of green hydrogen. One of the main targets for the international market roll-out of green hydrogen is therefore to reduce production costs. In addition to the costs of electrolysers, the levelised cost of electricity (LCoE) of renewable energies is also crucial. Large-scale use is an important aspect in reducing costs through mass production and learning effects.

International cooperation at political level can make a significant contribution here.

In addition to the direct use of green hydrogen in industry and transport, various materials can be produced using hydrogen. These derivatives include ammonia and methane, which have largely been synthesised from natural gas up to now. Ammonia is needed to produce fertiliser, for example, while methane, like hydrogen, can be used as a fuel itself. In addition to their use as fuels, hydrogen and its derivatives are also highly relevant in the chemicals industry.




Brochure / 2 MB
Energy Outlook Angola (IEA)

Brochure / 3 MB
Energy Outlook Nigeria (IEA)

Brochure / 610 KB
European Hydrogen Strategy

Brochure / 207 KB
Grundlagenpapier zur Farbenlehre (Nationaler Wasserstoffrat)

Brochure / 1 MB
Nationale Wasserstoffstrategie (2020)

Brochure / 190 KB

Brochure / 8 MB
World Energy Outlook 2021 (IEA)

Brochure / 1 MB
Study on the policy and regulation framework for the build-up of a hydrogen market in Nigeria

Link to top