Al Gore launches Rotterdam Climate Campus
The former US vice president launched the new institute which focuses on developing new techniques in water management and clean energy on Tuesday evening.
15 October 2008
AALSMEER -- Nobel Prize winner and former US vice president Al Gore was in Aalsmeer near Amsterdam on Tuesday evening to launch the Rotterdam Climate Campus.
The new institute for sustainable and innovative technology will concentrate on water management and clean energy.
The RCC will be housed in a futuristic floating construction in the port of Rotterdam, an area which the local council believes is well placed to workshop the new techniques.
Projects will include processing industrial waste water into drinking water, floating residential areas and harnessing the tides of the Rotterdam's River Maas for energy production.
Rotterdam Council's port and environment spokesman Mark Herbers thinks the RCC will catapult the city into a leading position in an economy driven by clean technology. "The campus should expand to become the Silicon Valley of the Low Countries," he says.
The petrochemical industry, Delft University of Technology, Rotterdam's Erasmus University, the environment ministry, energy company Eneco and the WWF all have a stake in the RCC which is scheduled to open by the mid 2009.
Launching the project, Gore urged the Dutch government to invest in wind and solar power and abandon plans for more coal-fired power stations. He won applause by linking the credit crisis and what he dubbed the climate crisis, saying that sustainability rather than short-term profits had been shown to be the way of the future.
Surprisingly, journalists were not welcome in the hall.
Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer later joined Gore and representatives of Dutch business to sign an undertaking to strive for climate-neutral industry in the Netherlands.
As if to demonstrate the evils of the old technologies, Gore arrived late after being held up in a typical Dutch traffic jam. The delay meant he was unable to address students before the main meeting in Aalsmeer. The young people had to watch his speech on a screen outside the hall. They voiced their disappointment in a banner which displayed the slogan: You forgot us, the future.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]