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Hydrogen Council announces leadership change: original founder Air Liquide passes reins to new co-chair Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Original Founder Air Liquide Passes Reins To New Co-Chair Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Brussels, February 2nd 2022  

The Hydrogen Council is announcing an important change of leadership, as Mr. Yoshinori Kanehana, Chairman of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Kawasaki), becomes a new co-chair of the Council along with Tom Linebarger. Kawasaki is one of the founding members of the Council and a key player in the hydrogen sector advocating for its role in accelerating the decarbonisation of the industry. An innovator and pioneer within the industry, Kawasaki has been leading HySTRA (Co2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Technology Research Association) and working with its partners on the realisation of the international shipping of liquefied hydrogen, through the operation of the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier SUISO FRONTIER between Australia and Japan.  

Mr. Yoshinori Kanehana says “I am honored to be appointed as a new Board member and co-chair. We are now at a critical stage in our journey from the demonstration to the commercial stage for the global deployment of hydrogen. It is essential to bring together the knowledge and expertise of the various members of the Council towards our common objectives. Amidst the unprecedented challenges, let me assert my firm belief that the hydrogen industry will rapidly expand and mature by strengthening partnerships with stakeholders including key industries, policy makers and investors. I look forward to working together towards the realization of a global hydrogen economy.” 

The Council would like to acknowledge the strong leadership of outgoing co-chair Mr. Benoît Potier, CEO and Chairman of Air Liquide, who has thoughtfully guided members over the last five years.  It was his leadership that led to the formation of the Council and under his direction that it has helped elevate hydrogen’s global profile as a viable solution. As Mr. Potier steps away from his co-chair role, he will remain an active Board Member and play an important part in connecting with leaders in Europe on behalf of the Council.  

“The Hydrogen Council has come a long way in the last five years, with more than 130 members today compared to 13 at the time of its creation in 2017. It has played a key role in showing the world what hydrogen can bring to a successful energy transition. Today, this role is widely recognized as the total investment into projects and along the whole value chain of hydrogen around the world is estimated at more than $500 billion through 2030. As the hydrogen revolution is entering a new phase of its development, and as I hand over my role as co-chairman to Mr. Yoshinori Kanehana, I am confident that the Hydrogen Council will continue to contribute in maintaining this momentum. I am also looking forward to remaining an active member of the Council to further advocate the incredible merits of hydrogen.Mr. Benoît Potier, CEO and Chairman of Air Liquide.  

Mr. Kanehana will promote the Council’s activities with fellow Council co-chair Mr. Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc., who began his two-year term in July of 2021.  

“I offer my sincere congratulations to Yoshinori as he takes on this new role in hydrogen leadership. I look forward to working closely with him and KHI to further the Council’s vision, which has been deeply influenced by Benoît and Air Liquide, and making meaningful progress together in the journey to global decarbonization.” says Mr. Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc.  

Since its creation, the Hydrogen Council has witnessed major changes in the development of the hydrogen economy. The unprecedented growth of the Council’s membership in the past year is the result of the important shift in a global mindset and constant work from the Council’s members to define a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the decarbonisation of our economies. 

Daryl Wilson – Executive Director of the Hydrogen Council, outlines “We are now in the critical and difficult stage of implementation.  The industrial project commitments must meet with public priorities, policy and funding commitments to fully realize contribution that only hydrogen can make toward the net zero journey.  It is great to have the guidance of strong global leaders in the field as we navigate these next milestones.” 


Download the PDF version of this press release here.

About the Hydrogen Council: 

The Hydrogen Council is a global CEO-led initiative that brings together leading companies with a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the clean energy transition. The Council believes that hydrogen has a key role to play in reaching our global decarbonisation goals by helping to diversify energy sources worldwide, foster business and technological innovation as drivers for long-term economic growth, and decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors. Using its global reach to promote collaboration between governments, industry and investors, the Council provides guidance on accelerating the deployment of hydrogen solutions around the world. It also acts as a business marketplace, bringing together a diverse group of 130+ companies based in 20+ countries and across the entire hydrogen value chain, including large multinationals, innovative SMEs, and investors. The Hydrogen Council also serves as a resource for safety standards and an interlocutor for the investment community, while identifying opportunities for regulatory advocacy in key geographies. To find out more visit and follow us on Twitter @HydrogenCouncil and LinkedIn

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