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Davos 2022: The Bridge Tank stands with Ukraine at the World Economic Forum

After the cancellation of the 2021 edition as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Bridge Tank was back in the Swiss Alps’ Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting from May 22 to 26, 2022. Unsurprisingly, Russia’s attack on Ukraine was at the heart of discussions at this year’s WEF. The Bridge Tank expressed its support for Ukraine and joined calls for greater international solidarity.

The Bridge Tank’s President Joel Ruet, took part in the Ukrainian Breakfast on 25 May, an event traditionally hosted by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. This year’s Ukrainian Breakfast addressed the thorny questions of the direction the war was taking, what Ukraine and the world would look like in the future and after the war. Participants to the event’s panel discussions included leaders like Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, Egils Levits, President of Latvia, & the participation of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy via satellite. The event was also attended by Natalie Jaresko, Former Minister of Finance of Ukraine.


Green Hydrogen prospects at COP 26

During COP26 in Glasgow, The Bridge Tank centred its contribution to the conference on the theme of green hydrogen and its potential as a decarbonised energy carrier. An active participant in COPs since COP22 and the Innovation Forum it helped organise, and the only think tank invited to the launch of the Hydrogen Council in Davos in 2017, The Bridge Tank had defined hydrogen as one of the key issues for COP26/COP15 in the run-up to the summit through a special report.

Represented by its chairman Joel Ruet and our board member Raphael Schoentgen, Founder & CEO of Hydrogen Advisors, The Bridge Tank gathered insights and shared its expertise on hydrogen through two sessions on the subject. On 11 November, The Bridge Tank took part in the Hydrogen Transition Summit, which brought together hydrogen experts from around the world to discuss the role this molecule will play in the transition to a net-zero future. Raphael Schoentgen, board member of The Bridge Tank, was one of the speakers at the summit.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport of Scotland inaugurated the Hydrogen Transition Summit by underpinning the role of bilateral city-region partnerships to accelerate the setting up of hydrogen supply chains.

In several regions of the world, the economic and technological conditions to scale up hydrogen are already in place, Raphael Schoentgen argued, adding that public support for hydrogen is now strong. While the carbon price matters, knowing who the financial off takers will be and having finance in equity are two key drives to scale up, he added.

Green Hydrogen Application

One day earlier, on 10 November 2021, UNIDO and the Austrian Ministry of Climate Action organised a side event on “Green Hydrogen Application: Driving growth of renewable energy and advancing inclusive energy transition” at the SDG 7 Pavilion. The event gathered:

  • Stephan Sicars, Managing Director of the Directorate of Environment and Energy, UNIDO,
  • Leonore Gewessler, Minister of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology of Austria,
  • Rolando Castro-Córdoba, Vice Minister of Energy and Environmental Quality of Costa Rica,
  • Rebecca Maserumule, Chief Director: Hydrogen and Energy at the Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa,
  • Ahmed Benlarabi from IRESEN (Institut de Recherche en Énergie Solaire et Énergies Nouvelles),
  • Alicia Eastman from InterContinental Energy.

Minister Gewessler set a framework on increasing complementarities between electricity storage, long distance mobility, carbon pricing, and directing hydrogen in priority towards hard to abate sectors like steel. This particular use of green hydrogen has considerable potential in South Africa, Dr Maserumule noted, as it could help decarbonise the mining & chemical sectors but also public transportation in the context of the country’s revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

In Oman, the sun and wind in the desert could give rise to the production of green hydrogen and green ammonia, as well as producing water and fixing atmospheric carbon through the production of synthetic fuels.

The Bridge Tank at the opening ceremony of the Center for Trans-Regional Studies of the Belt and Road Initiative

On April 14-15, 2018, Joël Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank took part in the annual conference on globalisation organised by Gayatri Spivak of Columbia University and Hari Vasudevan of Calcutta University. This year, the event was organised in partnership with the Kunming Academy in the Yunnan Province.

It was also there that the “Opening Ceremony of the Center for Trans-Regional Studies of the Belt and Road Imperative to Re-imagine the Silk Road” took place. As a partner of this initiative, The Bridge Tank was invited to the ceremony and Joël Ruet was appointed a member of the Center’s academic committee. The authorities of the Yunnan Province attended the inauguration. On the side of the Opening Ceremony, Joël Ruet gave a lecture at Yunnan Normal University.

The Opening Ceremony
The Opening Ceremony
Hari Vasudean
The Conference on Globalisation
Gayatri Spivak
Theme: Overlay by Kaira
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