US Environment Guru William McDonough: Let's Reconsider How We Tackle Climate Change

In the ultimate combination of art, politics and science, officials from over 150 overnment who are visiting Abu Dhabi for the annual assembly meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) will gather Sunday evening at Manarat Al Saadiyat for the unveiling of a new exhibition, Visions of Sustainability.

The star of the show is a major new work by the veteran US conceptual artist Bill Fontana, a multimedia installation that consists of digitally-augmented recordings from renewable energy sites all over the world that’s been commissioned by Irena to help draw attention to issues of sustainability and future energy.

To accompany the launch, which also serves as part of the opening ceremony for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Fontana will be joined by the pioneering solar aviator and explorer Bertrand Piccard and the US architect William McDonough, each of whom will be interviewed by the CNN news anchor, Isa Soares.

Fontana will talk about his new installation, which he has described as revealing the beauty of renewable energy and “the immense natural power of our planet”.

Piccard will not only talk about his role in the record-breaking circumnavigation of the earth in the solar-powered plane, Solar Impulse, but will also discuss the work of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, an NGO he established with his co-pilot, Andre Borschberg, to promote green energy and sustainable technologies.

McDonough’s talk will be different. The 66-year-old architect will not be talking about his work on Nasa’s Sustainability Base at the Ames Research Centre in California, his design for the world’s largest green roof, built in 2004 at Ford’s River Rouge factory in Michigan, or his role in helping to improve the environmental credentials of the Clinton-era White House.

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