Solar car travels around the world

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Friday, December 5, 2008

On December 4, 2008, a solar car, developed by scientists at Swiss universities, ended its journey of traveling around the world at the United Nations climate talks in Poznań, Poland. Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, rode into Poznań in the vehicle, along with schoolteacher Louis Palmer.

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Will solar-powered cars become viable in the near future?

The two-seat car began its journey 17 months ago in Lucerne, Switzerland. Carrying solar cells on a trailer, the car sent the message that global warming can be stopped and there are better alternatives.

"This is the first time in history that a solar-powered car has travelled all the way around the world without using a single drop of petrol," said Palmer. "These new technologies are ready. It's ecological, it's economical, it is absolutely reliable. We can stop global warming."

Cquote1.svg It's ecological, it's economical, it is absolutely reliable. We can stop global warming. Cquote2.svg

—Louis Palmer

Many people have been carried by the solar car, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The conference in Poznań seeks to draft a new climate treaty that would replace the Kyoto protocol, which is set to expire in 2012. The delegates hope to finalize the treaty by December 2009, when the UN reconvenes on the climate in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"Here at the conference, we are talking about reducing emissions by 10 or 20 percent," Palmer said. "I want to show that we can reduce emissions by 100 percent — and that's what we need for the future."


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