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Published on December 7th, 2017 | by The Beam


Bertrand Piccard’s New Idea To Drive The Energy Transition Forward

December 7th, 2017 by  

Following the success of the first ever solar flight around the world, the famous pilot Bertrand Piccard has officially launched the second phase of its action  — the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions  —  with the goal of selecting 1000 solutions that can protect the environment in a profitable way, and bring them to decision makers at COP24 to encourage them to adopt more ambitious environmental targets and energy policies.

“Today, thousands of solutions exist that can boost economic growth while preserving nature, but they remain unknown to decision makers and are not implemented at industry level,” commented Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation. “Our goal is to select 1000 solutions that are both clean and profitable and bring them to decision-makers to demonstrate that they must urgently stop compromising for minimal targets and adopt much more ambitious environmental and energy policies.”

Surrounded by Prince Albert II of Monaco, Patricia Espinosa (Executive secretary of UNFCCC); Maroš Šefčovič (Vice-President of the European Commission), Laura Tuck (Vice President Sustainable Development, World Bank) and Erik Solheim (Executive Director of UN Environment) as well as Ministers, Bertrand Piccard and his team presented their project at the COP23 in Bonn.

“We need to embrace efficient technologies, because they are much more than ‘ecological’, they are ‘logical’. They create jobs and generate profit, while also reducing CO2 emissions and protecting the environment. Even if climate change didn’t exist, they would make sense. Clean growth is much better than the dirty status quo we have today,” added Bertrand Piccard.

Examples of potential solutions already submitted by Members range from deep water offshore turbines, solar desalination plants, containers to transform organic waste into energy, air filters that capture C02 emissions and turn them into renewable fuels, hydrogen-based devices that can be added on cars to increase fuel efficiency, to free electric car chargers. Over the next year, all submitted solutions will be assessed by independent scientific and financial experts following a structured methodology designed to evaluate their deployability, sustainability and viability.

“Initiatives like the World Alliance and its goal of selecting 1000 efficient solutions, are exactly what we need to further enable investors, governments, cities and citizens to harvest the rich variety of clean technologies that already exist or are under development, and accomplish the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and all the Sustainable Development Goals to catalyse a healthy and prosperous future for all,” Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC.

In addition to bringing Members from a diversity of backgrounds  —  start-ups, companies, governments, among others  —  to work together to create synergies, and facilitating match-making between solution seekers, providers and investors, the World Alliance has entered in close collaboration with several international institutions, states and cities around the world, including the City of Paris, Union for the Mediterranean, the European Commission and Clean Energy Ministerial, to accelerate the selection, funding and implementation of the 1000 solutions.

“Europe is committed to a clean energy transition. But this can only happen if we break down silos, if all those who share this commitment work together and focus on tangible and efficient solutions. That it is why I support the World Alliance: it creates an umbrella of solution providers, government representatives, start-ups, established companies, financers, local authorities, national governments, intergovernmental organizations. I look forward to hearing about the 1000 solutions, and I can guarantee full support of the European Commission in this important journey,” Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President, European Commission.

“The good news is that whole countries are making choices in favor of cleaner, greener and more efficient solutions to climate change. This is driving demand for green finance from the full range of financial institutions, including the World Bank. These are exciting times for new investments in climate solutions,” Laura Tuck, World Bank VP for Sustainable Development.

“Doom and gloom won’t to get us anywhere, and let’s not forget that climate change is a problem that we can innovate our way out of. What we need are concrete solutions that can be applied at scale. These solutions are already out there, but many are hidden — in places like research labs and small start-ups, or otherwise as pilot projects that never made it to scale. It’s important now more than ever to put these solutions in the limelight and show what is possible when we embrace positive change,” said Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment.

Article by Anne-Sophie Garrigou

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The Beam Magazine is a quarterly print publication that takes a modern perspective on the energy transition. From Berlin we report about the people, companies and organizations that shape our sustainable energy future around the world. The team is headed by journalist Anne-Sophie Garrigou and designer Dimitris Gkikas. The Beam works with a network of experts and contributors to cover topics from technology to art, from policy to sustainability, from VCs to cleantech start ups. Our language is energy transition and that's spoken everywhere. The Beam is already being distributed in most countries in Europe, but also in Niger, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Japan, Chile and the United States. And this is just the beginning. So stay tuned for future development and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Medium.

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