Solar Impulse visionary named UNEP Goodwill Ambassador

Bertrand Piccard, one of the co-founders of the solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse, was designated the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador.

Switzerland’s Bertrand Piccard received the designation during a ceremony at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris. The Swiss solar energy champion is currently in Paris attending the UN climate talks where he is advocating for an ambitious climate change agreement with a strong focus on renewable energy, writes UNEP in a news release.

Piccard and his Solar Impulse co-founder and co-pilot André Borschberg are bringing attention to the potential of solar energy by attempting to fly around the world without using a drop of fuel. So far they have covered close to 20,000 kilometres. The solar-powered airplane is currently wintering in Hawaii where it was grounded earlier this year due to overheated batteries. It is set to resume its record-breaking journey in April 2016.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: “When Bertrand’s plane takes off again from Hawaii, people of the world will live the adventure alongside him. As Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme, every hour of his flight and preparations will be an opportunity for him and the Solar Impulse team to bring those people closer to a vision UNEP has advocated and supported in our work for many years.”

In his capacity as UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Piccard will use his popularity to convince policy makers, entrepreneurs and communities that a carbon-neutral world is within our grasp. He calls the designation “an encouragement to continue showing how many incredible things can be done with renewable energies.”


Image credit: © Solar Impulse | Revillard |

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