The Solar Impulse Foundation launched the World Alliance for Clean Technologies on Friday in Marrakech as a legacy to the first ever solar flight around the world. Its goal is to federate the main actors in the field of clean technologies, in order to create synergies, promote profitable solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental and health challenges, and give credible advice to governments.
Less than four months after the landing of the first ever solar flight around the world, accomplished by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the Solar Impulse Foundation, via the launch, shifts to a second phase in the realisation of Bertrand Piccard’s vision that clean technologies can accomplish impossible goals and offer tangible solutions to solve many of the challenges facing global society today as well as reach the objectives of the Climate Action Agenda.
The Alliance’s overarching ambition is to globally advance the cause of clean technologies, which it defines as “any practical solution that allows bridging the gap between ecology and economy. They are not limited to the production of renewable energy, but encompass technologies, systems, know-hows or processes that protect the environment, improve health, increase energy efficiency or save natural resources, while creating jobs, generating profit and sustaining growth”.
“We need to embrace clean technologies, not because they are ‘eco-logical,’ but because they are ‘logical’,” said Bertrand Piccard, Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation. “Even if climate change didn’t exist, energy efficient technologies would make sense to create jobs, generate profit and boost economic development, while also reducing CO2 emissions and protecting natural resources.”
Until now, there was no such organisation, gathering the clean technologies stakeholders around the world; hence the Alliance will bring together start-ups, companies, institutions and organisations producing, implementing or supporting the use of clean technologies. Together, the members will share experience and create synergies in order to improve the overall value chain and demonstrate concrete solutions to support governments, corporations and institutions in reaching their environmental and health targets, advising them depending on their specific situation.
Commenting on the launch of the Alliance, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “The Solar Impulse flight showed the world that it is possible to push the limits of technology in order to build the foundation for a sustainable future. By harnessing this and other innovative technologies, we can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, stated: “Initiatives like the World Alliance for Clean Technologies 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.
“We need the best and brightest minds – from the North and the South – to deliver clean technologies that can collectively accomplish the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and all the Sustainable Development Goals to catalyse a healthy and prosperous future for all.”
Richard Northcote, Chief Sustainability Officer at Covestro, shared: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Solar Impulse though the World Alliance for Clean Technologies. Our contribution to the Solar Impulse project proved that we have the technology to make the world a brighter place and through this alliance we intend to accelerate the implementation of these technologies to tackle the challenges society faces while generating business growth.”
The Solar Impulse Foundation offers to the Alliance its administrative support, as well as the media, political and institutional relations developed during the round-the-world solar flight. The Alliance is funded thanks to partners such as Covestro, Solvay and Nestlé Research, among others, as well as private donors.
As Bertrand Piccard said upon the final landing in Abu Dhabi, “If an airplane can fly around the world without a drop of fuel, clean technologies can undoubtedly be implemented on the ground to make a cleaner, more efficient and richer world.”