US to launch international co-operation in hydrogen economy

Nov 18, 2003 01:00 AM

Environmentalist interest groups have challenged US efforts to form a basis for international co-operation to promote a hydrogen-based economy. An “International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE)” will be launched by the US at a ministerial meeting in Washington DC.
The aims of the IPHE are to sign an agreement to share research and development on hydrogen and boost the hydrogen economy. The discussions will include issues related to R&D, policy & regulation and the commercialisation of hydrogen-based energy technologies.

The conference will bring together governments and industry from around the globe, including government representatives from the US, Australia, UK, Brazil, China, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, India and Iceland. The European Commission and the International Energy Agency will also be present.
Environmentalist interest groups support a hydrogen agenda based on renewable energy, but they have accused the Bush administration of hijacking the future of hydrogen in a "cynical" attempt to produce hydrogen from “dirty” source fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

The “Green Hydrogen Coalition”, formed by environmental groups including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, has set out to challenge the launch of the IPHE. They call upon governments to harness the potential of hydrogen by producing it from clean, safe energy generated by renewable sources.
Both the US administration and the European Commission have announced plans to boost the hydrogen economy to maximise benefits from hydrogen as an alternative fuel source.

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