CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION
Water treatment and re-use, resource conservation
An impulse on existing efficient solutions
Bertrand Piccard wants to rally people, even climate change deniers, around an approach where protection of the environment can be addressed – with clean and efficient technologies – as a unique and profitable opportunity for economic growth, rather than an unsupportable and expensive problem.
Following the request of former French president François Hollande in December 2015, Bertrand Piccard prepared the following 7 principles for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, that was held in Paris.
How can we motivate people against climate change if we continue to focus on the amplitude of the problem? The current discourse is depressing and makes the situation seem insurmountable. Mobilization will only become possible if we emphasize the tangible benefits of existing clean solutions: we can already cut CO2 emissions by half, when replacing old polluting devices in the field of industry, construction, heating, cooling, lighting and mobility with today’s energy-efficient technologies.
Asking people to make sacrifices for no immediate return only creates resistance. Who would renounce driving their car because of sea levels rising in 30 years? On the contrary, let’s demonstrate that everyone can maintain and even improve their standard of living thanks to affordable and accessible clean technology solutions, while at the same time reducing the impact of their lifestyle on the environment.
Protecting the environment should not be perceived as expensive. Because there is a need for more environmentally friendly products and processes, fighting climate change is openingup new industrial markets and offering an opportunity for economic development, job creation and profit.
If fighting against climate change is presented as a financial sacrifice for rich countries and a threat for the economic growth of developing countries, we will face opposition from the entire world. Investing in solutions, for energy efficiency and renewable energies, is profitable for investors and consumers in both rich and emerging markets.
When we hear politicians wanting to reduce CO2 emissions by X% or limit temperature increases to 2°C, it comes across as wishful thinking. Nothing will ever happen if they don’t also set out very clear legal framework, procedures and concrete technological solutions to realize these goals.
The unpredictability of legislation and the risk of competitive distortion too often prevent industry from spontaneously investing in cleaner production. Our society has regulations for education, hygiene, health, justice, etc., but not for preventing the waste of energy and natural resources. This must change!
Very few people will change their current behavior in favor of those living in the future. Let’s demonstrate that the changes we need can already deliver a favorable result on today’s economic, industrial and political development.