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The world's largest solar boat sailed past New York's Statue of Liberty in June. © MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

The world’s largest solar boat sailed past New York’s Statue of Liberty in June.
© MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

Two Swiss solar vehicles have spent recent months touring the United States raising awareness of the potential of renewable energy. But how successful have the trips been in generating valuable funds or forging new partnerships? My latest article on swissinfo.ch tries to answer that question.

Check out the related podcast – Solar Flair – to hear interviews with Solar Impulse pilot André Borschberg as well as PlanetSolar CEO Pascal Goulpié.

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the plenary session of the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (© UN Photo/Maria Elisa Franco)

Although the Rio+20 sustainability summit ended without delivering the vision or commitment needed for the future, Switzerland says the process is not dead.

It is a view shared by the Swiss media following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – which closed on Friday after 193 nations agreed on a lackluster accord that largely reaffirms the goals of its predecessor, the 1992 Earth Summit.

“Based on its ambitions, the results of Rio+20 are very modest. But there were still some small successes,” stated the Saturday edition of the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. These successes included sustainability goals and the introduction of a so-called green economy, defined as creating “well-being” and jobs without damaging ecosystems.

Click here for the whole story on swissinfo.ch.

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The nuclear power plant in Mühleberg near Bern opened in 1972.

The people of canton Bern in Switzerland have voted in favor of building a new nuclear power plant in Mühleberg to replace the old one there. Meanwhile, voters in canton Nidwalden reiterated their lack of interest in hosting a nuclear waste repository in Wellenberg. Though non-binding, the recent ballot box results show that nuclear technology remains controversial in Switzerland.

Read the whole story here:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/internal_affairs/Bern_says_yes_to_nuclear_power_plant.html?cid=29485452

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Plastic bottles are convenient to recycle. © PET-Recycling Schweiz

Switzerland’s recycling figures for plastic drink bottles are at an all-time high, but there is no nationwide system for recycling other types of plastic. Packaging for food, cosmetics and other everyday products generally lands in the incinerator.

Read the whole story here: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Room_to_grow_in_Swiss_plastic_recycling.html?cid=18006398

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It was a telecommute day in Switzerland.

Some extra sleep, a leisurely breakfast and no need to leave the house – it sounds an awful lot like a lazy Saturday morning.

However, it could also be the start of a full workday for people whose jobs and employers allow them to telecommute. May 18 was Switzerland’s first national Home Office Day.

Click here to read the rest of the story: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/index/Initiative_encourages_workers_to_stay_at_home.html?cid=8787028

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The May 2010 issue of Swiss News magazine

I’ve been following the progess of the Solar Impulse for a while now, and my latest article made the cover of Swiss News.

You can read a PDF version here: Solar Impulse_ready for take-off_

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Bertrand Piccard (Solar Impulse) and Andres Wirz (Solafrica)

Green living goes glamorous at the first-ever NATUR Gala, held in conjunction with the fifth annual NATUR Festival and conference in Basel. Highlights include a green fashion show, a former Miss Switzerland and prizes shining the spotlight on sustainability.

Read the whole story here:

http://www.swisster.ch/news/society/green-carpet-basel-event-celebrates-eco-lifestyle.html

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