The World Trade Organisation wants Australia to focus on green hydrogen and cut its coal habit. 

WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has told reporters that green hydrogen is “rightly where attention should go”. 

“We know that coal is one of those fossil fuels that leads to very high carbon emissions. So I think it would be good if Australia could move on its green hydrogen path that it is developing,” Ms Okonjo-Iweala told the ABC this week.

“That's going to be so important as an industry, which will create new jobs. It will be so important to help in the world. 

“I think that's where rightly attention should go.”

Several countries are looking at imposing export restrictions on carbon-emitting products, and the WTO is supporting members to adopt trade-related measures that protect the environment.

“There are countries that are saying that they will put a tax or a price on carbon emitting products. I'm sure that as time goes on, as countries strive to achieve the path to net zero emissions by 2050, you will see more of that,” she said. 

“That time is already here, I think.”

Green hydrogen is hydrogen generated by renewable energy or from low-carbon power. The next-gen fuel is made through the electrolysis of H2O and burns clean, usually emitting only purified water as a byproduct. The technology is expected to help decarbonise sectors that require huge amounts of power, such as steel and cement production, and thus help to limit climate change.

Green hydrogen currently accounts for less than 0.1 per cent of total hydrogen production.