25.07.2018 - UNESCO Venice Office

Energy Observer stopover in Venice raises awareness among the public about environmental issues

Energy Observer

Energy Observer counts on UNESCO’s support as it carries out its mission, to promote renewable energies and raise awareness of energy transition challenges. This first zero carbon footprint ship sails across the world during 6 years without a drop of fossil fuel, with 101 stops planned between 2017-2022 in the world's maritime capitals, historic ports, nature reserves or at major international events. Energy observer docked in Venice on 6-15 July 2018.

The first hydrogen vessel around the world installed itself on the Venetian Certosa Marina for its 25 stopover of its Odyssey for the future. Arriving at noon on 6 July, for the first time since the start of the 2018 Mediterranean tour, Energy Observer and its crew introduced to visitors from Venice the all-new traveling exhibition, comprised of displays in virtual reality and 360° projections of exclusive content to raise awareness among the general public about environmental issues. The exhibition explains Energy Observer’s mission, the embedded technologies and the milestones reached in sustainable energy development.

Using electric propulsion from hydrogen and renewable energies through energy coupling, Energy Observer has committed to visiting 50 countries to advocate for clean energy. So far, the vessel has visited 13 of these countries and covered 7,851 nautical miles. Its first stopover in Italy was accompanied by a public, interactive, educational village and a warm welcome from UNESCO, through its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe.

Energy Observer relies on clean energy: zero greenhouse gas or fine particle emissions. As greenhouse gas emissions have become an ever more pressing problem to solve, renewable energy development has become increasingly important. Renewable energy, however, requires storage methods, one of which is hydrogen. The challenge is producing it in a way that is both carbon-free and inexpensive. Energy Observer proved this was possible

UNESCO has been involved in promoting education and international cooperation on renewable energy since 1995. UNESCO, along with the other UN organizations, promotes the fight against poverty, inequality, and climate change through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. Clean, alternative energy is essential for sustainable development, and climate change negatively impacts UNESCO designated sites that can however become open laboratories for the expansion of new energy patterns around the world.

UNESCO, with its Climate Change RENFORUS Initiative (Renewable Energy Futures for UNESCO Sites), embodies such a concept with the goal of increasing the knowledge base on climate change and applying this knowledge to policies and practices in building green societies. This includes the sustainable use of renewable energy sources in Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites.

Projects such as Energy Observer strengthen such initiatives, relying upon an increasing use of locally available renewable energy sources to provide essential services for the communities and a powerful tool for education on sustainable development as in the motto “Changing Minds, Not the Climate” of the UNESCO’s Strategy for Action on Climate Change.

With the support of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and the direct contribution of the Italian government, UNESCO through its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe has pioneered specific capacity-building activities for UNESCO designated sites and sustainable energy solutions for historical and monumental buildings.

The Regional Bureau has also been active since 2012 in training and the distribution of handbooks on sustainable energy practices in cultural heritage management.

As UNESCO continues its work in promoting renewable energy sources for the environment and sustainable development, Energy Observer expedition--led by Captain Victorien Erussard and Expedition Leader Jérôme Delafosse and supported in France by a multitalented team - will continue traveling the world until 2022 to share their message and advocate for renewable energy.


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