MEPs launch a new initiative to promote hydrogen fuel

September 16, 2005

Brussels, 15 Sep 2005

MEPs from the all major political groups put forward their 'Hydrogen Manifesto' on 12 September, calling for a fundamental shift away from fossil fuel dependency and towards the green hydrogen economy.

Jeremy Rifkin, American author of 'The hydrogen economy' was at the event to support the initiative. The call comes at a time when the soaring price of oil is fuelling protest from different economic sectors. The cross party group of MEPs expressed their will to see the creation of a fully integrated EU hydrogen economy, 'in the shortest possible time.' According to the MEPs, this move will herald a 'third industrial revolution' as early as 2025.

During the presentation, Mr Rifkin, advisor to former European Commission President, Romano Prodi, explained that the world will have used up over half its oil reserves by 20 at the latest or between 2010 and 2020 at the earliest, heralding the end of the oil era by 2037. Regarding the Hydrogen Manifesto, Mr Rifkin commented: 'It is inspiring and encouraging to have such a wide spectrum of political leaders calling for a new day for the world.'

Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi thanked the author for his contribution and inspirational work and declared it was high time to do something.

Alejo Vidal-Quadras (EPP) mentioned the critical issue of the security of energy supply and how to solve the dependency of external sources, saying that the EU was, so far, focusing its work on energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy.

The President of the EP, Josep Borrell expressed his hope that 'this report will be picked up by those in the EU with the power of action.' Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for Environment, acknowledged that the EU 'should do more' to alter energy consumption and supply patterns.

Green MEP Claude Turmes pointed to the need for political action to move from what he called 'dirty and risky energy' to green and efficient energy. Greenpeace welcomed this initiative as a step in the right direction and praised the leadership of the European Parliament.

The Hydrogen Manifesto urges the EU to mobilise all forces to shift to 'a fully integrated green hydrogen economy by 2025' and calls for the floating of a Europe-wide hydrogen bond to raise the necessary billions of euros to build a green hydrogen economy infrastructure. MEPs also aim to produce a roadmap for investments in late October under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme.

For more information on the hydrogen economy, please visit:
http:///europa.e u.int/comm/research/energ y/nn/nn_rt/nn_rt_hlg/article_1261_en.htm

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
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