"While they have achieved another milestone in flight, their circumnavigation is even more momentous for what it demonstrates about clean technology."
UN Environment chief Erik Solheim released the following statement congratulating the Solar Impulse team, who today completed the first circumnavigation of the globe in a solar-powered airplane:
"Congratulations to the Solar Impulse team, and particularly pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, for their historic achievement. Like Lindbergh's Atlantic crossing or Yeager's breaking of the sound barrier, Solar Impulse has accomplished something truly groundbreaking, proving practical what was once thought impossible.
"While they have achieved another milestone in flight, their circumnavigation is even more momentous for what it demonstrates about clean technology. We may not be flying on a commercial solar plane in the next few years, but we are already driving electric cars, powering our homes with sunlight and running entire countries on renewable power. We live in a world where renewables are no longer an alternative source, but already the norm for a good deal of our energy needs. This transition is critical to fight climate change and improve the health of our planet and people. Solar Impulse has shown not only the pace of the transition, but that the sky is the limit to what we can do with clean technologies."