Millions of new jobs could be created over the next 25 years if businesses embrace the ‘hydrogen economy’, according to a leading economist and climate change expert.
Jeremy Rifkin, an adviser to the EU and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, said the world economy was in the last stages of its oil-based energy regime.
He told delegates at a conference in Rome run by management consultancy Hay Group that the world was “approaching the sunset of the oil era”, and that global governments were not grasping the enormity of the scale of the problem.
An economic gameplan was needed to tackle the issue and manage the move to a hydrogen economy, which will replace the use of fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions.
“As [the world] moves into a hydrogen economy, there is as dramatic an opportunity in terms of job creation as there was with coal and steam power,” Rifkin said.
“Reconfiguring the energy infrastructure of the EU will create new business opportunities and millions of new jobs over the next 25 years.”
Rifkin called this the “Third Industrial Revolution”, and said Europe was leading the way by mandating that 20% of all EU energy be generated from renewable sources by 2020.