Race for Water, the largest solar-powered vessel in the world, in Paris for COP21

Friday, 27 November 2015

The Race for Water Foundation in Paris to present its program of solutions to the global problem of plastic pollution in water

The Foundation will be in Paris until the 12 December with its new flagship Race for Water, the largest solar-powered vessel in the world, to organise and participate in numerous events and give the ocean a voice during this crucial summit. 

Race for Water Foundation will be in Paris from the 26 November to the 12 December to participate in and organise events and conferences, both on board Race for Water and at Le Bourget and Le Grand Palais. The solar-powered vessel will be moored at Quai Javel Bas and will welcome, amongst others, the general public for an exhibition entitled “Plastic Pollution: from the impact to the solutions”.  

Fighting plastic pollution in water: understanding the impact, finding the solutions

In 2015, the Race for Water Foundation did an initial global study of plastic pollution in oceans through the Race for Water Odyssey project. The resounding conclusion of this unique expedition is that plastic pollution is everywhere. Analysis of the expedition’s findings continues at the Foundation’s partner institutions including the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), the University of Bordeaux (France), the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and Duke University and Oregon State University (USA). Final results will be available in 2016.

The Foundation also concluded that an efficient grand-scale clean-up of the world’s oceans is unrealistic. With this knowledge, the Race for Water Foundation is now focussed on identifying, promoting and implementing practical solutions that tackle waste and pollution at source, before it reaches our waterways.

“Race for Water Odyssey was a springboard that has enabled us to further define how to progress towards solutions. Following the Odyssey, our conclusions are clear: plastic pollution affects all regions of the world, it is everywhere. We must be proactive and prevent plastic from getting into our waterways by promoting solutions that give waste value. We will be launching pilot projects that transform waste into energy from 2016 on,” explains Marco Simeoni, president of the Foundation.

The Foundation will present an approach that aims to give plastic waste a value through an innovative technology that transforms end-of-life plastic into energy. Beyond the environmental benefits, this solution based on social entrepreneurship, will create jobs, particularly for those most affected by pollution. The first pilot projects are planned for 2016.

New mission for the largest solar-powered vessel in the world 

The newly christened Race for Water, proudly sporting the colours of the Race for Water Foundation in its campaign against the plastic pollution of our waterways, was once the first vessel in the world to complete a circumnavigation driven by solar power. The Race for Water solar vessel is a unique and versatile platform and is an ideal flagship for the Foundation’s solutions, research and awareness programmes, in addition to providing a platform for scientific study.  Gerard d’Aboville, a new Foundation ambassador, will remain at the helm of the solar vessel that he has skippered since 2013. He explains: 

“Throughout my career I have unfortunately witnessed the degradation of the world's oceans and this cause is thus very close to my heart. We must preserve the oceans against this plague of plastic pollution. I am looking forward to these new missions aboard Race for Water in the service of this cause.” 

 For more information about the programme of the Race for Water Foundation in Paris during COP21: http://www.raceforwater.com/events/cop21

For more information about the Race for Water solar vessel: http://www.raceforwater.com/ambassador-boat/rfw_solarvessel

 About the Race for Water Foundation 
The Race for Water Foundation is an organisation dedicated to the preservation of water. This indispensable resource is under massive threat from plastic pollution and must be protected. The Foundation aims to identify, promote and implement solutions that will give end-of-life plastic a value and to create new sources of income for the people most affected by pollution. Using an innovative approach inspired by the principles of a circular economy and social entrepreneurship, Race for Water Foundation seeks to give an economic value to plastic waste and prevent plastic pollution of our waterways. Within this framework, the Foundation works closely with UNESCO, UNEP, IUCN and the WBCSD. 

For more information:

Lucie Gerber – Press Officer 
[email protected]
+ 41 79 419 86 60

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