In the 1970s, a man revealed to the world the mysteries of the ocean. Through his documentaries, the explorer and popularizer Jacques Cousteau was responsible for children seeing the great white shark in motion for the first time. Those images, on a television with fewer channels and without social networks on the lookout, immersed parents and children without a helmet in the blue immensity, in an almost hypnotic way.
The kids had no idea that some of their plastic toys would one day end up at the bottom of the sea; They didn’t know the meaning of the word “recycle” and, of course, they couldn’t imagine a birthday party with straws and disposable cups.
Céline Cousteau, then a girl who accompanied her grandfather on many of his expeditions aboard the Calypso ship, is convinced that this need for human beings to connect with nature and its preservation is something natural and innate. It just has to show up someone or something that makes them reconnect with it. It is what she thinks and what she has worked for for decades, when she picked up her family’s trident to champion ecological outreach and activism.
The disseminator and documentary director Céline Cousteau.
My work is a real privilege, I have experiences that have changed my life, that revolutionize all my senses. When I return home after an expedition I am a different person, how can I not share all that with people?
Céline Cousteau, ponente in the cumbre ‘We Choose Earth Tour’
Cousteau, 50, evokes that specific moment, on an expedition through the Arctic with his father, Jean-Michel Cousteau, also an environmentalist and documentary filmmaker. “In the middle of the arctic tundra and the frozen ocean, I realized the intensity and beauty of that environment, how human beings still survive in it, and how nature feels that it has to provide what humans need,” recalls Céline. Cousteau. For her, being able to explore the world, film documentaries, listen to stories and be in the midst of these amazing ecosystems wouldn’t have as much meaning if she didn’t broadcast it, in order to preserve them. “My work is a real privilege, I have experiences that have changed my life, that revolutionize all my senses. When I return home after an expedition I am a different person, how can I not share all that with people? ”, she reflects. So she decided that she had to dedicate her life to transmitting her adventures; full of beauty, with some risks, but with the urgent need to protect the environment.
Objective: to raise awareness
The popularizer and documentary director will be one of the main protagonists of the We Choose Earth Tour world conference, on June 22 at the EDP Gran Vía theater in Madrid. This is an initiative of the energy company EDP that will bring together entrepreneurs, thinkers, activists and artists with sustainability as the common thread and with the common purpose of provoking reflection: what can we do to leave a fairer and more sustainable planet for the new generations?
The objective is to launch a message that will have a strong impact on society and serve as inspiration when it comes to promoting a collective change for environmental and social preservation. Along with Cousteau will be Amal Clooney, an expert lawyer in international law and human rights; bestselling author Adam Grant, organizational psychologist; Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History at Oxford University; Enrique Dans, professor of innovation at IE Business School; Lubomila Jordanova, co-founder and CEO of Plan A, or the activist Sohia Kianni, among many others.
The EDP CEO, Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade, and the EDP Commercial CEO and President of the EDP Foundation, Vera Pinto Pereira, will also enlist on this transformational journey in an imaginary (and vindictive) Calypso, who will support the speakers in its purpose to inspire people around the world; the singer Macaco, and the Reina Sofía School of Music, which interprets his scores with instruments from recycling. Possibility of including a link to ticket sales
A commitment to the planet, but also to people
Aware that the energy transition is crucial for the perpetuity of the planet, EDP has been promoting renewable energies for two decades. Being a visionary company about the possibilities of wind, sun and water made it ahead of other companies with solid carbon-free investments, and today it is a leader in the energy transition. Along these lines of haste, EDP has set itself the ambitious challenge of not using coal by 2025 and becoming 100% renewable by 2030.
But We Choose Earth Tour will also be a party with social resonance, since the proceeds from ticket sales will go to three non-profit organizations involved in the fields of energy transition and social and environmental concern (Ecodes, Ecomar and Blue Spain). Because, as Vera Pinto Pereira points out, “EDP’s commitment is not only with the planet, but also with people”. In this sense, the person also responsible for the company’s social impact highlights the creation last year of EDP YES (You Empower Society). “This is a global program that includes more than 500 initiatives to combat energy poverty, promote access to energy and energy efficiency, and implement solutions to access solar energy or electric mobility.” A bet for which EDP commits to invest more than 300 million euros until 2030, anticipates the directive.
Vera Pinto Pereira, director of EDP.
The EDP YES program includes more than 500 initiatives to combat energy poverty, promote access to energy and energy efficiency, and implement solutions to access solar energy or electric mobility.
Vera Pinto Pereira, CEO of EDP Comercial and President of the EDP Foundation
Saving the ocean is protecting the future
Plastics are one of the main causes of pollution of marine ecosystems and extinction of aquatic species. Part of EDP’s plan to achieve a more sustainable planet is precisely the protection and preservation of the oceans. An example of this commitment to the sea is the underwater cleaning that the energy company promoted last year on the Portuguese coast, the largest carried out to date in the Guinness record, and which removed more than three tons of waste from the ocean floor.
Among the debris from that drive, dubbed Backwash, were tires, fishing nets, glass and plastic bottles, but also thousands of personal items that the sea obviously did not need. Taking advantage of this action, EDP will open an ephemeral store on Madrid’s Gran Vía that will bring together all those unwanted gadgets. Donations can be made at the venue to support future underwater cleanups around the world. It is estimated that every year about 12 million tons of plastics are dumped into the seas. Alert and aware that hundreds of crabs, starfish, sea urchins and other species are hooked on their garbage, perhaps the earthling will choose Earth and think twice the next time before leaving a plastic bottle on the beach. As Céline Cousteau says, “Let us think of the Earth. if the ocean [70٪ de su superficie] doesn’t work, if our main source of life is threatened, the entire ecosystem will fail.”