VANCOUVER - Hydrogen & Fuel Cells 2007, Canada's premier international hydrogen and fuel cell technology event, opened today in Vancouver against a backdrop of global concern over carbon emissions and energy supplies.

Hydrogen & Fuel Cells 2007 keynote speakers will tackle how hydrogen and fuel cell technology can address the world's key energy and environmental challenges and the current state of commercial applications for the technology.

$quot;With the world's attention focused on the harmful effects of climate change, hydrogen and fuel cell technology is at the centre of the world's search for clean, green, sustainable energy alternatives,$quot; said John Tak, president and CEO of Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Canada. $quot;This conference showcases the commercial applications at work today, and how hydrogen and fuel cell technology is powering buses, forklifts and flashlights, as well as heating buildings and homes throughout the world.$quot;

Keynote speaker Robert Rose, executive director of the US Fuel Cell Council, echoed Tak's remarks. $quot;This is the only energy pathway - fuel cells in partnership with clean electricity - that provides a comprehensive answer to the challenges of energy security, air pollution and climate change.$quot;

The three-day Vancouver event runs from Monday, April 30 through May 2 at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. Government and industry leaders will share national strategies on clean energy development and emissions reduction. Denmark and the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia, for example, are developing leading policies that foster the growth and commercialization of clean energy technologies such as hydrogen and fuel cells.

$quot;Hydrogen and fuel cells technologies offer significant potential for helping us to increase energy efficiency and reduce dependency on fossil fuels.$quot; said keynote speaker Flemming Hansen, Denmark's Minister of Transport and Energy. $quot;However, the efficient development of these technologies will require high levels of both political commitment and international cooperation.$quot;

Conference highlights include:

Monday April 30: the opening keynote address from British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell

Monday April 30: a keynote address on the critical aspects of the Earth System as seen from space by NASA scientist Dr. Anthony Freeman, and a response from an industry perspective by Robert Rose, executive director of the US Fuel Cell Council

Tuesday May 1: a plenary and keynote on international developments in hydrogen and fuel cell technology featuring representatives from Germany, Norway, Denmark, Japan and Canada

Tuesday, May 1: a hydrogen vehicle test ride event featuring the latest fuel cell vehicles from Ford, Daimler Chrysler, Toyota, General Motors and Nissan

Tuesday May 1: a plenary session on fuel cell buses, the first near-term large scale commercial applications for hydrogen fuel cell engines

Wednesday, May 2: a keynote address by Cynthia Verdugo-Peralta, member of the state of California's Hydrogen Highway Advisory Panel

Hydrogen & Fuel Cells 2007 is jointly organized by Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Canada, the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia. Sponsors include BC Hydro, the NRW Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Network, The Linde Group, Ballard, BC Transit, Canadian Nuclear Association, CellexPower, Hydrogenics, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and UK Trade & Investment.