With the COP21 coming to a close next week, world leaders from over 190 countries are under increased pressure to provide practical solutions to climate change. Proton Motors, one of the leading manufacturers of hydrogen fuel cells, are calling for further investment in hydrogen fuel cell systems as an effective solution to the global warming crisis.
Proton Motor’s Chairman Ian Peden said “In combination with renewable energy sources, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Systems provide safe and clean energy with only a small amount of water emitted and no harmful substances produced. By governments providing significant investment in Hydrogen Fuel Cells, we expect to see improved air quality and an overall reduction in dangerous pollution levels, which is crucial particularly in light of the worrying data from the World Health Organisation.”
This recent data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates over three million deaths are attributed to pollution every year, so Proton are hoping the COP21 delegates address these urgent concerns in their draft climate change agreement submitted this week.
“This week the air pollution in Beijing registered the worst this year,’ Peden noted. ‘It forced the Chinese government to order polluting industries, mainly coal-fired power plants, to suspend production. This of course costs the economy millions but most importantly these dangerous levels of pollution are causing lives to be lost needlessly.”
There is already plenty of evidence to suggest hydrogen fuel cells will make real inroads to reduce pollution and help tackle the issue of climate change. Peden points out it isn’t entirely necessary to pollute the air by using oil or coal for heat and electric energy. He also notes that mobile fuel systems can cut down on harmful levels of pollution on Oxford Street for example, which holds the dubious title of world’s most polluted street, by replacing toxic diesel in cars and buses with hydrogen fuel cells. Additionally, with the emergence of autonomous houses which don’t require connection to power grids, oil or natural gas, even our homes can be energy efficient.
Ultimately, the COP21 should help to raise awareness about the benefits of hydrogen fuel cells whilst igniting a wider discussion about infrastructure, and the investment needed to support global implementation.
Peden added “To support a sustainable industry, we need to see a commitment from government to invest in the hydrogen fuel infrastructure that will see the implementation of hydrogen fuel stations and hydrogen cars as well as energy independent industries. To drive demand and encourage global adoption of the system, financial incentives should be introduced to make Hydrogen fuel cells attractive in a competitive market, similar to when solar energy was introduced some years ago with some initial trepidation. Proton Motor aim to overcome the same bureaucratic hurdles and bust the myths that hydrogen fuel cells are clunky to install and can’t be stored safely.”
“Of course there are large financial implications to bear in mind, but the benefits far outweigh the costs; in addition to providing a zero carbon society, we expect to create thousands of new jobs and more significantly hope to provide a better quality of life for all.’
The subject of who will finance the transition to renewable energy, is a prickly one but ultimately it is a burden that all of the COP21 delegates must bear. China and India, who are notoriously known for their extreme pollution levels, expect the richer countries to honour their pledge from the 2009 UN climate conference in Copenhagen to provide $100 billion a year in financial support for poor countries from 2020 to develop technology and build infrastructure to cut emissions.
Peden expects the main outcomes of the COP 21 will be to reach a global agreement of binding climate change targets and ultimately see a commitment to the objective of reducing global warming to the agreed limit of 2C by serious investment.