Friday, February 16, 2007

A Zidane for clean energy

If I was a broker on Wall Street or in Frankfurt, I would tell my clients to immediately buy plenty of shares in the wind energy sector, because the Global Wind Energy Council has just announced it hired its Zidane (or its Ronaldo), Steve Sawyer as its Secretary General.

There is no doubt in my mind that with Steve, the renewable energy sector is going to climb to the Top League. With Steve they can bring the dirty energies and wasteful technologies down to the Second League. For nearly thirty years, Steve has been one of the sharpest greenbrains, a skilled organizer, and one of the most solid pilars of Greenpeace.

I have countless fun memories of my time with Steve in Greenpeace.

We sailed together on the Rainbow Warrior as early as 1979, chasing in stormy seas vessels carrying casks of spent nuclear fuel accross the world between Japan, France and the UK.

We spent about 20 years conspiring together against nuclear weapons testing, until the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was finally adopted in 1996.

Six years after our first encounter on the Rainbow Warrior, it was because it was Steve's birthday that not too many people were on board (but out drinking) in Auckand harbour the night of the bombs, in 1985.

The photo above, of both of us talking to reporters was taken in June 2002 in Bali during an international conference of Environment Ministers to prepare the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg a few months later. In Bali and Johannesburg, we worked days and nights to prevent the governments from drifting, from caving into the US and others who did everything they could to sabotage the summit.

With Steve, the green energy revolution is on its way.

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