THE Solar Impulse Foundation, which earlier this year successfully completed a round-the-world flight in a solar aeroplane, the Solar Impulse 2, has set up a new alliance to promote clean technologies.
The World Alliance for Clean Technologies was launched at COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco, where world leaders are currently meeting to discuss how to implement the landmark climate deal to keep global warming to below 2?C agreed at COP21 in Paris in 2015. Members of the alliance will include companies, start-ups, NGOs, institutions and organisations involved with developing and implementing clean technologies. Covestro, Solvay and Nestlé are the first confirmed industrial partners and financial backers.
The Alliance defines clean technologies as 'any practical solution that allows to bridge the gap between ecology and economy”. They are not limited solely to renewable energy, but any technology or system that has the potential to protect the environment, improve health, increase energy efficiency or save natural resources, as well as creating jobs and generating profit and sustaining economic growth.
The Solar Impulse 2 was designed as a showcase for sustainable technologies, proving that solar-powered flight is possible. The Alliance will build on the legacy of the aeroplane to advance clean technologies. Members will share their experiences and knowledge and support and advise governments, corporations and institutions on reaching environmental and health targets. Up to now, the Alliance says there has been no such organisation.
“We need to embrace clean technologies, not because they are ‘eco-logical,’ but because they are ‘logical’. 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,” said Bertrand Piccard, chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation and one of the Solar Impulse 2 pilots.
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said at the launch that the Solar Impulse 2 flight showed that it is possible to push the limits of technology, and that by harnessing such technologies, the world will be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals, agreed by UN members in 2015, cover water, sanitation and hygiene, climate change, women and gender equality, and economic growth.
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