myclimate and Solar Butterfly: an Interim Assessment of the Longstanding Partnership

Solar-power pioneer Louis Palmer visits and promotes climate protection projects all over the world with his Solar Butterfly initiative. To this end, the specially crafted Solar Butterfly travelled across Europe in 2022 and North America in 2023. Palmer’s mission is supported by myclimate through the development of greenhouse gas footprints and educational activities.

The Solar Butterfly on the streets of the USA, photo: SolarButterfly

At the heart of the Solar Butterfly project is the futuristic solar-powered vehicle in the form of a butterfly. In 2022, the Solar Butterfly embarked on a European tour, visiting 27 countries, from Norway down to Greece, Hungary across to Spain. The butterfly has been on a world tour since May 2023 and has already journeyed through North and Central America. myclimate supports the Solar Butterfly project by providing its expertise. For example, myclimate calculated a greenhouse gas footprint for the European tour in 2022 and the first leg of the world tour in 2023. Emissions from the vehicle, trailer and operational emissions were all considered as part of this comprehensive calculation, as were the raw materials and processes that went into manufacturing the vehicle itself, the transportation of the vehicle and trailer, as well as the travel, accommodation and catering for all crew members. Finally, emissions from the Swiss office and disposal of all materials were included in the calculation. 


The inventory showed that the majority of emissions were generated as a result of transporting personnel, with air travel playing a significant role. The second-largest emissions footprint was generated by the vehicle and trailer, attributable to the materials required to construct the vehicle. Investments are made in myclimate climate protection projects based on the unavoidable emissions identified in the greenhouse gas footprint calculation. These contributions to climate protection are covered by Foundation myclimate in the context of the partnership. In addition to calculating the emissions, myclimate supported the Solar Butterfly project in its educational efforts. The team designed a quiz course to teach tens of thousands of students about climate protection and raise their awareness of the topic. 


As part of the Solar Butterfly initiative, the plan is for the butterfly-shaped solar-powered vehicle to continue travelling the world this year and next. Asia is on the agenda for 2024, followed by Australia, Africa and South America in 2025. The vehicle will visit exciting climate protection projects and meet with pioneers to draw attention worldwide to profitable and feasible climate protection solutions. As Louis Palmer says,  


“We want to reach hundreds of millions of people with the message that more and more people around the world are working to combat climate change through practical solutions. The world is full of solutions that are creating jobs and securing the future of our children – and we want to see them in action.” 

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