TOKYO — The Quad nations of Japan, the U.S., Australia and India agreed on Wednesday to promote technological development for clean-burning hydrogen and ammonia as fuels at the security grouping’s first energy meeting.
Energy ministers from the four countries gathered in Sydney, affirming the importance of enhancing the clean energy supply chain and ensuring energy security. The U.S. and Australia are moving forward with large-scale hydrogen production projects with the goal of shipping hydrogen to India and Japan.
The delegates did not engage in an in-depth discussion over the response to Russia’s war with Ukraine. Koichi Hagiuda, Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry, said there was no specific mention of sanctions against Russia.
At the same time, “we all recognized that the energy uncertainties stemming from Russia have become a problem,” said Hagiuda.
The four members of the Quad, formally the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, have had different positions on Russia. While Japan, the U.S. and Australia have aligned on sanctions, India has expanded purchases of Russian petroleum without joining sanctions.
On the sidelines, Hagiuda spoke separately with his U.S. and Australian counterparts and called for cooperation toward increased production of liquefied natural gas and a stable supply of the fuel.
Russian backlash against sanctions has started to cloud prospects of stable LNG supplies from Russia to Japan. Tokyo has placed hopes on LNG procurement from the U.S. and Australia. The two resource-rich countries have said they understand Japan’s position, according to Hagiuda.