Beirut, 27 August 2016 – The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is today in the Port of Beirut for the first time in history to host a press conference and launch the “Sun unites us” Mediterranean tour which will highlight the massive potential for solar energy in the Arab region. The tour will travel from Lebanon to Turkey, where it will end in Morocco for the COP22 international climate negotiations.
Zeina El Hajj, Greenpeace Mediterranean Executive director, said: “As a symbol of peace and renewable energy, the Warrior’s bow can cut through the imposed myth of a region suffering from violence and conflict and tell a new story; a story about local heroes striving to make their lives and their communities sustainable and safe under an abundant resource: the sun.”
The tour will collect messages of support from the region for the dramatic increase of solar energy capacity in the Mediterranean and deliver them to the leaders at the COP22 climate negotiations.
In South Lebanon, 12 young Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese people from the area, trained by Greenpeace, will build solar panels on a Women’s Cooperative center. This community-driven initiative can serve as an example of how accessible and empowering renewable energy can be for everyone in the region. Each contribution to this project is an additional step towards a true energy independency for this cooperative, the hard-working women and their community.
After Lebanon, the Rainbow Warrior will head to Turkey to become a platform for various communities from across the country to showcase their solarisation projects.
Peter Willcox, Captain of the Rainbow Warrior, said: “It is time for people here to embrace what shines in the sky 300 days a year, not what’s tapped from the ground. It is not just about building a sustainable renewable energy future for the region, it’s about tipping the balance away from fossil fuels for the health of the planet while self-empowering local communities.”
At each of its stops, the Rainbow Warrior will be open to the public, where people will get to meet the crew while exploring the ship and celebrating the region’s abundance, its culture, food, music, people and the sun.
Notes to editors:
Dania Cherry, Communications officer, Greenpeace Mediterranean, Arab World Programme: +961376069393, [email protected]
Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 207 18 2470 (available 24 hours), [email protected]