UK chemistry chief to lead European energy-related working group


23 January 2007

Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, will lead a new European working group on Chemistry and Energy to support future discussions about the contribution of the science to the EU energy policy.

The move was agreed between Dr Pike, who heads the 43,000 member UK society, and the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS). 

Dr Pike said today: "The use of energy and its relationship to global warming and to climate change is the greatest international challenge posed to the world and we have placed it centre-stage here at the Royal Society of Chemistry already.

"It is heartening to see our colleagues across Europe - and indeed our own UK science community - heeding the danger and combining up to do something about it and recognising that there are also significant business opportunities in addressing these'

The RSC is now developing its own policy on energy and the environment and will later this year unveil its full content, while already stressing that chemistry as the underpinning science stands right at the centre of the challenge to find solutions.

EuCheMS has welcomed the publication of the European Commission's Communication on an Energy Policy for Europe, setting out an action plan of measures to achieve the objective of becoming the world's most energy efficient region. 

A EuCheMS spokesperson said this week: "The new European Energy Policy aims to be ambitious, effective and long-term; success will be dependent upon the chemical and molecular sciences.  

"Energy, which accounts for 93% of carbon dioxide emissions in Europe, is at the root of climate change; advances in chemistry will have a significant role to play in reducing these emissions and in transforming Europe into a highly energy efficient and low CO2 energy economy. 

"Boosting investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy will be key to developing the EU as the global leader in renewable technologies; advances in the chemical and molecular sciences will support energy efficiency in homes and industries, as well as the development of effective renewable energy technologies.

"EuCheMS is pleased that the Commission, in catalysing a new industrial revolution, will increase by at least 50% its annual spending on energy research over the next seven years. 

"Research in chemistry will be essential to the future development of a number of key low carbon technologies, including solar power, fuel cells, hydrogen as a fuel, safe nuclear waste management, carbon capture and storage, energy storage and energy efficient lighting.

"EuCheMS believes that Europe is ideally placed technologically, economically and socially to demonstrate a successful low carbon economy. 

"Chemistry will play a vital role in delivering sources of sustainable, secure and competitive energy, and in accelerating the competitiveness of low carbon technology. It is vital that future low carbon technologies are developed as soon as possible. It is also important that the EU skills base in science, engineering and mathematics remains strong so that the human as well as the financial resource is available to meet the challenges ahead."  

Related Links

Link icon EuCheMS Working Party on Chemistry and Energy
EuCheMS welcomes the publication of Europe's energy policy; its success will be dependent on chemistry

Link icon Communication from the Commission - An energy policy for Europe
A document discussing the involvement EuCheMS will have in policy formation


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