Following the success of the first solar flight around the world, the Solar Impulse Foundation launched the second phase of its programme – the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions – during COP23, with the goal of selecting 1,000 solutions that can protect the environment in a profitable way, and bring them to decision makers at COP24, the Foundation reports.
“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,” said Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation.
The Constituent Assembly of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions took place on Wednesday, November 15, in the Bonn Zone of COP23, launching the flagship initiative, with Prince Albert starting the countdown on stage.
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,” said Bertrand Piccard. “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 solutions submitted will be assessed to evaluate their deployability, sustainability and viability.
Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment, added: “Doom and gloom won’t 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.”