United Nations award Bertrand Piccard Champion of the Earth
As Bertrand is reaching the highest point of his flight (almost 8’500m) quietly breezing his way through the Moroccan skies powered by solar energy, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced yesterday, June 4th, the attribution of the 2012 Champions of the Earth Laureate Award to Solar Impulse project’s founder: Bertrand Piccard.
The timing couldn’t be better as it only strengthens Solar Impulse’s message as well as the symbolism behind its current “Crossing Frontiers 2012” mission, demonstrating growing awareness and urgency to increase investment in renewable energies.
As I’m writing these words, Bertrand Piccard is high above the ground piloting the experimental aircraft on his first mission flight. It is also a first for the aircraft as it is its first intercontinental flight leading them both to the arid North African climate of the Kingdom of Morocco.
This year, six laureates have been selected for their outstanding efforts in the name of sustainable development. Among them, the Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj for his leadership effort to put the environment at the forefront of policies, Brazilian banker Fabio C. Barbosa and United Arab Emirates entrepreneur Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber for their entrepreneurial vision to invest in sustainable development and in clean technologies. Other awards were given for inspiration and action (Bertrand Piccard), Science and Innovation (Dr. Sander Van der Leeuw of the Netherlands) and for Grassroots Initiatives (Samson Parashina of Kenya). Laureates of the previous years have included former US Vice President Al Gore, photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and former leader of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev.
The Ceremony took place yesterday, June 4th, during a Gala dinner. This event was a run-up to the opening of the Rio +20 Earth Conference, which will take place June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
As Bertrand is reaching the highest point of his flight (almost 8’500m) quietly breezing his way through the Moroccan skies ...