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09/03 - 2016

We must, can and will change

Al Gore was on stage at TED2016 in Vancouver to give a talk about climate change. And he asked three questions: first, “Do we really have to change?”, second, “Can we change?”, and third, “Will we change?”. To all he answered a firm yes, and it’s also my opinion.

 

Without getting into all the details of what global warming is doing to our planet - we hear about it enough - let’s just point out that the World Economic Forum, which took place in Davos in January, declared the climate crisis to be the number one risk to the global economy. But it’s also a very profitable opportunity!Al Gore uses the example of solar energy: the best projections 14 years ago were that the world would be able to install 1 GW per year by 2010; we beat that by 17 times over in 2010, and this year we’re on track to beat it by 68 times. A real breakthrough, which has led the cost of solar energy to come down 10% per year for 30 years, and allowed it to compete with fossil fuels today. Clean technologies are the biggest new business opportunity in the history of the world, for developed and developing countries, and are creating profit and jobs.

 

It’s clear that COP21 - the Paris Climate Conference which I attended in November 2015 - was a breakthrough, but nations aren't waiting for its implementation to take matters into their own hands. On December 26th 2015, Germany generated 81% of its electricity from renewable sources; China has already announced that starting next year, they're adopting a nationwide cap and trade system; if you look at all of the investment in new electricity generation in the USA last year, almost three quarters was from renewable energy, mostly wind and solar.

 

Al Gore’s final question to his public is: how long will it take to get there? This all depends on all of us, on how fast we can apply clean technologies to our daily lives, and how effectively we can spread the #futureisclean message. We’re doing it with Solar Impulse, how are you acting to preserve your quality of life?

 

Bertrand Piccard

 

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