Santiago de Chile (EFE).- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Monday that Chile is a “desired partner” to move towards the green transition and that it could help Germany consolidate its independence from Russian gas and oil.
“Chile offers everything that is needed for the transition towards renewable energies (…) Taking advantage of this potential is one of the reasons why my first trip to Latin America has brought me to Chile,” said the foreign minister in a meeting in Santiago with Chilean and German businessmen.
Scholz, who arrived on Sunday from Argentina and will leave for Brazil this Monday, praised Chile’s commitment to renewable energy and assured that his government “will support” the country in this regard, especially in the production of green hydrogen.
“The conditions here (in Chile) are among the best in the world for the production of green hydrogen,” he said.
With 4,200 kilometers of coastline, Chile has a great variety of climates and a diverse orography, ranging from the Atacama Desert in the north to lush forests and glacial areas in the south.
Chile is one of the pioneering countries in the promotion of green hydrogen, considered the “fuel of the future” because it is a powerful source of energy that could eventually replace fossil fuels.
Until now it has not been widely used due to its expensive production -its atoms must be isolated through a process called electrolysis-, although more and more countries are trying to make the processes cheaper.
Scholz encouraged Chile to continue betting on green hydrogen not only to move towards the transition but also to diversify the economy of the world’s leading copper producer.
“Diversification is very important right now for our economies. That is what the pandemic, the problems in supply chains and the consequences of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine have taught us,” he said.
The German chancellor further explained that the war in Ukraine forced Germany to “totally free itself from dependence on Russian gas, oil and coal” and to “accelerate the development of renewable energy.”
“We are building the necessary infrastructure at a fast pace and we are creating the first green hydrogen supply chains in the world,” he said.
Germany’s goal is to generate 80% of its electricity demand from renewable energy by 2030 and to operate completely neutral by the mid-1940s, according to Scholz, who in his Sunday meeting with the president Chilean, Gabriel Boric, invited him to be part of the so-called “Climate Club”.
“I am extremely glad that President Boric has accepted my invitation,” he stressed.
Launched in Berlin last December during the G7 summit, the club seeks to bring climate-friendly raw materials to market faster and improve opportunities for them around the world.
Trade between Chile and Germany grew in 2021 to 4,023 million dollars, according to data from the Chilean Government.
Chile exported 1,076 million dollars to the European country, mainly copper, wood and nuts, while it imported 2,947 million dollars from Germany, especially medicines and vehicles.