Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Iceland.
Time flies, and it seems only yesterday, when the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy was signed in Washington last November, but already the process of IPHE is up and running, and the various activities are already in process, not least within the Implementation and Liaison Committee.
The challenges and tasks we are facing in the area of energy, environment and technology are global in nature and therefore call for increased global solutions and co-operation. For this reason it is of great value for us to participate and contribute to such global cooperation, as the IPHE. The responsibility often depend on the bodies and individuals driving the process, like in this case not least the Implementation and Liaison Committee. This committee has therefore enormous and multiple tasks - and we have already seen some of your products and challenging priorities.
Although international cooperation is important the private-public partnership is even more important. Building an efficient private-public partnership on global level is one of the most essential issue on the road towards the hydrogen economy.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is the policy of the Government of Iceland to increase the utilization of the renewable energy resources in harmony with the environment. All electricity production in Iceland is totally carbon-free. The hydrogen policy and priorities are just one part of this long-term policy.
A major element of the Icelandic hydrogen policy is to propose Iceland as an international platform for hydrogen research and testing. The policy has five main aspects: Favourable framework for business & research, international co-operation, hydrogen research, education and training, and ongoing policy formulation. This policy is a coherent part of our long-term policies on renewable energy and protection of the climate. Iceland alone is not able to take big steps in this area, but in co-operation with others important further steps can be taken
In recent months our work in Iceland towards the hydrogen economy has been focusing more on the roadmap and its different roads – and special attention has been paid to the various elements of the framework for the platform, like for example, taxes and tariffs.
Because of the steps we took together by starting the IPHE process, in Washington last November, hydrogen is higher on the political agenda. Because of that - building a partnership is easier, which includes businesses, the research society and other stakeholders. Working on hydrogen programs at regional and national levels has also got more attention and drive than before thanks to the IPHE process.
The task of IPHE leadership towards the hydrogen economy is not an easy one. But we have to face the challenges – there is no other way – we have to make international as well as private-public co-operation, practical and successful. The work and projects we have seen within the Implementation and Liaison Committee look very promising.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I do wish all of you a fruitful meeting, as well as an enjoyable stay in Iceland.