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Transition Forum in Monaco: The solution to climate change


“Women are the key,” insisted William Kwende, CEO of AGRITECH, Burkina Faso. Here in Monaco with  Roberto Segré, cofounder of the Transion Forum and PR executive Grace Wong-Folliet. Photo Irene Hell

It is a world sensation. While record heatwaves were giving the Cote d’Azur a taste of global warming, a US Nobel laureate made an almost unbelievable announcement: It is possible to prevent the Climate Apocalypse – and the oil industry will pay for it.

Graciela Chichilnisky, the genius mathematics professor who designed and created the carbon market included in the Kyoto Protocol, is once again about to make history. During the recent Transition Forum at the end of June in Monaco, Chichilnisky stunned the sweating audience.

Together with a team of scientists led by Peter Eisenberger, she has not only developed a groundbreaking carbon-capture technology, but she has also managed to secure funds for the costly new technology from the least expected source.

Exxon Mobil is going to invest massively in her company, Global Thermostat. She informs Riviera Insider Magazine and shows an Exxon press release dated June 27th.

“This is the solution to climate change!” Chichilnisky triumphs.

While critics suspect a green-washing tactic of Exxon, Chichilnisky insists that it’s all-hands-on-deck and massive investments would be needed to prevent the looming climate collapse.

“If we do not act today, we will no longer be able to act tomorrow”, said Prince Albert II of Monaco during the inauguration of the Transition Forum which was orchestrated by Richard Attias & Associates last year.

Since then, Lionel Le Maux, the President of Aqua Asset Management and Roberto Segré, the two founders of the forum, have managed to establish the Transition Forum as a unique high profile platform which accelerates massive action for the United Nation’s goals.

Jean Castellini, Monaco’s Minister of Finance and Economy, came to the forum in order to introduce his plans for a maritime shuttle between Nice and Monaco. “Some 40,000 people commute to Monaco every day,” the minister researched.

The boats would prevent traffic jams during the rush hours. Electric bicycles and electric taxis are also planned for Monaco.

Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice, has finally managed to connect the airport to the tram system in his city. “This will help reduce traffic by 20% and eliminate 800 buses,” he explained during the Transition Forum. The former motorcycle racer now champions watershed management, incubators for start-ups, healthy school lunches, and a “zero plastic” campaign.

Eric Philippon, a French entrepreneur, provides with his FAMAE foundation much needed incentives and funding. His 2 million Euro FAMEA Water Challenge Prize rewards innovative projects which protect our water. 

Philippon and the organizer of the Forum are aware that global action is required. Therefore, Justice Kumar, a former Indian Supreme Court judge was invited to Monaco in order to point out how constitutions can be instrumental to pushing clean energy and combating waste.

Many participants agreed that the women, who often function as the conscience of our planet, need to be empowered. “Women are the key,” insisted William Kwende in a conversation with Riviera Insider. Kwende, a former UN diplomat, activated his contacts to the World Bank and the African Development Bank in order to secure funding for a promising new food processing plant in Burkina Faso.

“We have 1.5 million women in Burkina Faso producing 100.000 tons of shea butter,” Kwende pointed out. Nobel Lauret Graciela Chichilnisky and Gunter Pauli, founder of the Blue Economy at the Transition Forum in Monaco. Photo Irene Hell

In order to generate jobs and income, Kwende is now processing organic shea butter, used in cosmetics and in chocolate, in this new plant – using solar energy of course.

“Renewable energy represents the biggest opportunity in Africa,” the entrepreneur remarks, but worries: “The world has already lost more than 30 percent of its farm land.” Therefore his company AGRITECH operates in 15 countries in West Africa in order to enable sustainable farming.

The solutions are there. Even financial giants like BlackRock are now looking for green investments. What it takes are high-level meetings such as Transition Forum in order to connect committed leaders which ignite global action.

The next Transition Forum is planned for June 2020 in Monaco.

 - Irene Hell