2011 Laureate

Inspiration & Action [co-winner]

Louis Palmer
Switzerland

Providing a green twist on Jules Vernes’ famous voyage, adventurer Louis Palmer successfully led a fleet of electric vehicles around the world last year. The “Zero Race” teams crossed the globe in eighty days, highlighting two of the major environmental challenges facing the world today- the need for more sustainable transport and cleaner energy supplies. 

Teams from Australia, Germany, Switzerland and South Korea took part in the race, which followed a course across four continents, before ending at the United Nations in Geneva last January. With their sleek, modern design and high performance, the Zero Race vehicles embody the major advancements currently underway in the transport sector and how investment in green technology is a key component in tackling climate change.

The Zero Race is only the latest chapter in Palmer’s adventurous career.  In 2004, with the help of four Swiss universities, he built the ‘Solartaxi’ and became the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a solar-powered vehicle. Traveling through 38 countries, Palmer reached an audience of millions with his solar showcase for efficient, sustainable transportation. 

Palmer’s work continues to deliver a simple, powerful environmental message across the world: that modern solutions to global warming are available, affordable and ready.

“I feel absolutely great to be recognized as a UNEP Champion of the Earth”, said Louis Palmer.  “So many people helped me and along the way and we all feel honored that we get this recognition. This change to renewable energies has to happen and really it motivates not only me but my whole team.”

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Quotes

Janez Potocnik, Slovenia
Champion of the Earth 2013 - Policy Leadership

Unless we change the way we produce and consume we will face a crisis in our natural resources. It is crucial that we make the necessary changes now rather than when we hit environmental tipping points.


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