ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners say there have been dozens of cases of hydrogen companies lobbying Scottish politicians since 2018.

Friends of the Earth Scotland said the Scottish Government is helping to “greenwash” the use of hydrogen as a fuel, which many energy companies are trying to promote.

The campaign group searched the lobbying register for Scottish ministers and MSPs’ meetings with hydrogen lobbyists from March 2018 to the end of 2022.

They found more than 30 meetings with oil and gas companies where hydrogen was discussed, along with an additional 70 meetings with companies who stood to benefit from the rollout of hydrogen technology in Scotland.

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These included a “lavish” dinner at Edinburgh Castle during the Cop26 summit, which involved 52 company lobbyists. It was hosted by the then business minister Ivan McKee and attended by the then first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

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Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner Alex Lee said: “Hydrogen lobbyists have made a targeted push trying to persuade the Scottish Government to ignore the mounting evidence about the technology’s inefficiency and huge costs.

“By incorrectly classifying hydrogen from fossil fuels as low carbon, Scottish ministers are doing the greenwashing job for fossil fuel companies.

“The Scottish Government has been taken in by the marketing hype around hydrogen, promising over £100 million of public money to the industry and repeating outlandish jobs creation claims.

“Ministers must end their support for hydrogen from fossil fuels and instead use renewable power directly in heating and transport rather than wasting time and energy by converting it to hydrogen first.

“If the Scottish Government want to tackle the climate crisis and deliver a just transition away from oil and gas, it must cut ties with the fossil fuel industry and ban them from lobbying.”

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Roughly 98% of global hydrogen production comes from fossil fuels, a 2022 report commissioned by Friends of the Earth Scotland found.