Following the success of the first solar flight around the world, the Solar Impulse Foundation has officially launched the second phase of its action – the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions – during COP23, 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.
The Constituent Assembly of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions took place today in the Bonn Zone of COP23, launching its flagship action: the selection of 1000 solutions that protect the environment in a profitable way by COP24 in 2018, with H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco starting the countdown on stage. The event was also attended by 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 and other representatives of high level institutions and many Members the World Alliance who officially adopted its statutes. Lastly, on this occasion Arnold Schwarzenegger became the newest Patron of this initiative.
This is a major milestone for the World Alliance, which at present already counts 474 Members that together combine more than 500 potential solutions. It can now officially begin to identify and select Efficient Solutions, which it defines as products, services, clean technologies and processes, not limited to the production of renewable energy, that are profitable and sustain economic growth, while protecting the environment and optimising the use of natural resources.
“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.”
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.
“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.
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.
The Solar Impulse Foundation offers to the World Alliance its communication and operational support, as well as the media, political and institutional relations developed during the first round-the-world solar flight. Thanks to the continued commitment of its Partners – Covestro, Solvay, Nestlé, Engie, Air Liquide, BNP Paribas (Switzerland) and Schlumberger, as well as private Donors – it can fund the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, which in turn can offer all services to its Members entirely free of charge.
“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.
“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.
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