Remarks on the Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance
Hello everyone! Thank you, Gudie, for that introduction.
It is such a pleasure to be here in Stephenville with Chancellor Scholz, Olaf, and Vice Chancellor Habeck, Robert, thank you so much, along with an extraordinary delegation of German business leaders and potential partners but already friends, as we look towards an exciting and bright future.
Premiers, Blaine, Dennis, Tim, and Andrew, thank you so much for being here as well.
It is a demonstration of the commitment of not just one order of government but of all orders of government and indeed all Canadians in building a better future, yes, with good jobs here in Canada but a positive impact everywhere around the world, particularly in our friends, like in Germany.
I want to also recognize the rest of my team, Minister Wilkinson, Minister LeBlanc, Minister O’Regan, and everyone here from our Newfoundland & Labrador caucus. Of course, a big shout out to everyone from the private sector joining us, the folks who worked so hard to set up those booths and put forward their projects. I really hope everyone takes some time to see the extraordinary work and the extraordinary potential that came together very quickly to showcase the exciting opportunity and future that we are building here together.
We’re here today because of a shared vision for the future we want to build where our workers have good jobs, where our economies are strong and resilient, and where our kids breathe clean air and inherit a healthy planet. That’s why we’re here and that’s why the agreement we’re signing this afternoon is so important. The Canada Germany Hydrogen Alliance is a historic step forward for our shared future.
Our target is clear, working towards initial exports of Canadian hydrogen to Germany by 2025, and our outcomes are clear as well, creating middle-class jobs and local growth while delivering clean energy that will help fight climate change. This is a modern alliance for a modern world where a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand in hand.
The formation of the Canada Germany Hydrogen Alliance is a major step forward. Today’s agreement provides for collaboration on everything from attracting investment in hydrogen projects to developing our trade corridor.
Here at home, it’s a vote of confidence in Canadian innovation and our workers, and it’s a vote of confidence in Canada’s future as a leader in clean energy.
A few minutes ago, we saw some examples of exciting Canadian hydrogen innovation. German companies are already signing deals to buy made in Canada hydrogen. There is no doubt the demand is there.
Of course, when it comes to energy security, the imperative is there too. Canada will always stand by our European allies, including Germany, in the face of Russian aggression. We’ve already pulled forward planned oil and gas production to add supply to the global market, but for tomorrow, we must look to resources like hydrogen which can and will be clean and renewable.
We can be the reliable supplier of the clean energy a net-zero world needs.
There are always skeptics. There are those who continue to say that hydrogen is far off or even uncertain, but that’s not what we’ve seen today because we’ve seen where the world is going on energy. Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine has caused, in the short term, energy pressures that we are working very hard to try and counter and support as a supplier of energy to the world.
But that invasion of Ukraine has also accelerated the path towards the future we knew was coming, a future where we’re not simply no longer reliant on Russian oil and gas but where we reduce our reliance on oil and gas altogether and transition towards the cleaner sources of energy a net-zero world requires.
But make no mistake, even as we pivot towards net-zero energy needs in the world, as quality of life goes up in the global south and everywhere around the world, the need for clean energy is almost limitless.
And that’s where Canada, and Atlantic Canada specifically, gets to step up. With our renewable resources, we have a huge advantage but the great advantage when we talk about Atlantic Canada or any part of Canada is Canadians ourselves, hardworking, ambitious, willing to build stronger communities, a better future for ourselves and our neighbors be they down the street, around the bay, or on the other side of the world.
And that’s what we are here to celebrate, to launch, to begin, and I say begin knowing that many of these technologies that are being harnessed and developed very rapidly have been around for years, for decades even, but the opportunity we have to accelerate, to step up is extraordinarily exciting.
And Canadians, we know that sitting back and waiting for others to figure out how to build a cleaner future is not where we want to be. It’s not how Canadians continue to lead on energy and a better future. Stepping up now is how we deliver good jobs, how we deliver growing economy, how we deliver a cleaner future, and how we continue to make the case that open, responsible, free democracies are the right solution.
We cannot, as a world, continue to rely on authoritarian countries that will weaponize energy policy as Russia is, that don’t concern themselves with environmental outcomes or labour rights or even human rights. People around the world want to know that they are participating in positive aspects of the economy with their food, with their purchases, with the energy that drives their lives.
That’s where Canada has an unimaginably great opportunity to step up.
Our vision for the future and our common goals are clear, Canadians for Germans, for all our friends around the world, good jobs, strong economies, clean air.
Again, thank you so much, Olaf, Robert, all of our friends for being here today.