The Acting European Commissioner for Energy, Christos Papoutsis, has welcomed the initiative for a Coal Research Programme to develop cleaner coal technologies from the British Government and, in particular, Energy Minister John Battle. He highlighted the similarities between the British plans and the European Union's Research and Technology Programmes, mentioning the EU's THERMIE programme in particular. THERMIE, which promotes clean electricity production, was implemented with the EU's Fourth Framework Programme (FP4) for Research, Technological development and Demonstration, (RTD) and also continues into the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) which includes clean coal technologies. New, cleaner coal technologies should radically cut costs and improve efficiency. In turn, this should contribute substantially to more economic, cleaner and environmentally friendly measures for what many consider the dirtiest fossil fuel.