Metropolitan Region eyeing spot as top eco-friendly hydrogen provider
Eight working groups have developed almost 100 proposals to make the Hamburg Metropolitan Region more successful, attractive and sustainable and have earmarked ten for implementation, the Regional Council announced Thursday (June 4, 2020) at the Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation (BWVI) in Hamburg. The recommendations come after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) identified the strengths and weaknesses of the Hamburg Metropolitan region in a detailed report last autumn.
The aim is to make the region a "world leader" of renewable energies and eco-friendly hydrogen which holds huge potential. The proposals address renewable energies, innovation, planning, housing, transport, skilled workers, tourism and marketing as fields of action. The council hopes to present preliminary results in mid 2021.
"We have set ourselves the goal of moving the Hamburg Metropolitan Region forward in national and international competition. It should shine in terms of both its high standard of living and as an outstanding business and science location," said Andreas Rieckhof, Chairman of the Regional Council of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and State Councillor of the Hamburg Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation after the meeting.
The establishment of a "North German Innovation Agency", proposed by the OECD and mentioned in the new Hamburg coalition agreement, should boost regional co-operation significantly. Emphasis is on developing joint marketing, skilled labour and innovation strategies.
"The OECD's report highlighted the potential of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region in the field of renewable energies and the production of eco-friendly hydrogen. This is precisely the field of action for achieving climate targets and at the same time driving forward the innovative capacity of the economy. After all, this is an area where natural conditions and economic expertise complement each other perfectly," said Birgit Honé, Minister at the Lower Saxony Ministry for German and European Affairs and Regional Development. The issue of skilled workers is particularly important from an economic perspective, she noted. Greater emphasis should be placed on soft location factors such as daycare places and housing with a view to monitoring the housing market jointly.
However, not all of the recommendations are needed and some cannot be implemented owing to the structure of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region prompting the council to request that all institutions and those responsible offer assistance. The Hamburg Metropolitan Region was the first German region to be critically examined by the OECD in terms of international competitiveness and innovative capacity. The OECD's recommendations should raise productivity and strengthen competitiveness, accelerate growth and improve the standard of living in the region.
Hamburg Metropolitan Region
The Hamburg Metropolitan Region spans 17 districts and counties, three independent cities and the City of Hamburg. The region with almost 28,500 square kilometres is almost as big as Belgium. Nearly 5.4 million people live in the metropolitan region. The states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein as well as districts, counties and independent cities have been co-operating since the 1960s and were joined by parts of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in 2012.