For me the ultimate aim of Solar Impulse since the project began has been to get the message on energy savings and renewable energy across to politicians.
So you can easily imagine how I felt when I received the invitation to address the Sustainable Development Committee of the French National Assembly on the 19th of January 2011.
For an hour and a half, taking the Solar Impulse night flight as an example, 60 deputies bombarded me with questions on the political and technological choices to be made for our society. This subject is currently high on the agenda in France as the government has just introduced a moratorium on support for solar energy. To my great delight, this spirited debate led on to the role of politicians and governments in pressing manufacturers to use CleanTech to reduce their impact on the environment while also creating prosperity. This approach leaves no place for divisions between left and right, and thank goodness for that.
I found the deputies of this committee open-minded, receptive and very welcoming, and I must say that I very much enjoyed my role as an ambassador for new technology. It was also very gratifying to hear one deputy conclude by saying: "A wind of change has blown over the Committee this morning". So if not solar we shall at least have wind!
So you can easily imagine how I felt when I received the invitation to address the Sustainable Development Committee of the ...