Bertrand Piccard is back at COP with “1,000 solutions to change the world”
Article by Anne-Sophie Garrigou
A year ago at COP23 in Bonn, Bertrand Piccard launched the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, and announced his goal to come back to COP24 with a selection of 1,000 solutions that can protect the environment in a profitable way. His goal? To encourage governments and leaders to adopt more ambitious environmental targets and energy policies and to bring together protection of the environment and financial viability. A year later, Bertrand Piccard is back at COP and on track to deliver on this promise with 56 solutions already officially labeled and 600 that are waiting to be labeled.
“We want to go as fast as possible, because there is a climate emergency but for that we need to mobilize more experts,” explains his team. “We have already 140 experts who volunteer with us when they have time, but it is absolutely necessary to accelerate the pace. The sooner we have gathered the 1,000 solutions, the faster these solutions will be implemented.”
In an open letter to COP24 negotiators (and initially published in French in Le Monde), Bertrand Piccard wrote that the Paris Agreement, must be seen as a beginning and not as an end in itself and warned about how it could remain a dead letter if our leaders lack political courage.
“You must accept that this enormous responsibility is in your hands. You could of course resist and dig into entrenched positions. Or you can act as heroes and rise to the challenge of creating the framework that will enable us to decarbonize our economy as fast as possible. The choice is a stark one: stagnation or progress, timidity or audacity. Which will you choose?” he added.
Clean solutions already exist
As Bertrand Piccard told us in an interview earlier this year, there are thousands of solutions that already exist today and that can protect the environment in a profitable way. The main problem, he thinks, is that most of these solutions are hidden in startups and research labs. They are not known, and therefore, not being implemented.
“Innovators and entrepreneurs around the world are striving to invent solutions to climate change and build a more efficient, clean and fair society. Their solutions make it possible to reduce costs, increase performance and improve living conditions without using fossil fuels,” he wrote in his open letter to the world leaders. “You have a responsibility to bring these solutions to market by modernizing the regulatory framework at all levels: biodiversity protection, agricultural production, industrial processes and energy consumption. The power is in your hands to accelerate their deployment.”
Some of these solutions were presented at COP24 today, the majority of them, by women.
- Inex : Inex is an app developed by a French startup that connects local waste producers with buyers of recycled raw materials helping industries to reduce the cost of raw materials costs by substituting them for appropriate waste. Inex’s solution helps prevent growth of landfills, reduces CO2 emissions thanks to reduced transport distance for treating, incineration and extraction.
- Bound4Blue : This Spanish company has developed a rigid wingsail system to cut-off fuel consumption and pollution. The wingsails can be integrated on a wide range of vessels. They are autonomous, foldable, light, and rotate around a mast. The wingsails can reduce fuel consumption and pollutant emissions up to 40%.
- Somfy: Developed sensors that are integrated on roofs and facades of buildings to measure real-time conditions allowing for intelligent and efficient remote blind management. This solution can reduce a building’s energy consumption by 30%-70% depending on location, climate and window type.
- Eco Wave Power : By installing floaters submerged in the ocean/sea attached to structures such as piers and jetties, Eco Wave Power technology generates clean and affordable electricity from ocean and sea waves.
“I know that many (countries) are still afraid of change. Some still doubt that climate change is even a man-made phenomenon. It is essential to speak their language, and to tell them that today’s technological solutions are as logical as they are ecological. Even if the climate were not in danger, the adoption of clean technologies would make economic and financial sense.” Bertrand Piccard wrote in his letter.
Article by Anne-Sophie Garrigou.
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