Energy transition and sustainable growth were at the heart of the speech given by Swiss entrepreneur Bertrand Piccard, one of the key speakers of the recent international “Life Cycle Management” conference, which was organised by the LIST and took place at the beginning of September.
This three-day event saw more than 700 international eco-design and circular economics scientists and technicians exchanging views on how to design sustainable technologies and products, and draft related policies.
“The first thing to take into account when it comes to energy transition is profitability,” explained Bertrand Piccard, who had the honour of delivering the event’s inaugural speech. “It is simply not possible to protect the environment by relying on widespread support if the solutions proposed are too expensive. It is therefore vital to implement the most cost-effective solutions in order to protect the environment while creating jobs and supporting growth. But this growth must be clean, which is always better than the polluted status quo. ”
Moving from an ecological to a logical standpoint
The Solar Impulse Foundation – named after a round-the-world flight project with energy supplied only from solar power – recently created the Global Alliance for Clean Technology. Presented at the Cop22 conference in Marrakesh last November, the foundation aims to bring together key players in the clean technology sector to facilitate the creation of synergies, promote cost-effective solutions in respect of the most pressing environmental and human health challenges, and provide solid advice to governments.
“Within the Solar Impulse Foundation, we pick out a large number of solutions and bring together startups and large companies that are working on such solutions. There are a vast number of opportunities for this type of collaboration that are of great use to each and every one of us. ”
But there are no doubts in the mind of Bertrand Piccard, President of the Solar Impulse Foundation: the current context of global warming and the commitment of almost all countries worldwide to respecting the 2015 Paris Agreement should not serve as the only incentive for immediate action. “We need to adopt clean technologies, not because they are “ecological”, but because they are “logical”. Even if climate change did not exist, energy-efficient technology would still be logical in terms of job creation, profit-making and stimulating economic development, while simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions and protecting natural resources. ”
Rendezvous in 2018
Since its inception, the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions has conducted an inventory of all existing technologies to provide the best possible solutions so governments around the world can set more ambitious targets. “Technologies to significantly reduce our energy consumption already exist and some startups have found solutions to make them much cheaper. At Cop24 (to be held at the end of 2018 in Katowice, in the south of Poland), we hope to present 1,000 solutions concerning construction, industrial processes, mobility, agriculture and water. “