Robert Swan, a British polar explorer who became the first man to have walked to the North and South Pole, speaks at a lecture organised by the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

ABU DHABI: Renewable solar and wind energies and promoting the use of biofuel can help stop ice melting in Antarctica and save the planet, Robert Swan, a British polar explorer who became the first man to have walked both the North and South Pole, said.

Swan is on a mission to clean the world from carbon dioxide emissions and promote use of natural resources of energy engaging youngsters and leaders from across the world.

Now he will be taking three people from the UAE to Antarctica in his next mission to Antarctica in March next year.

“March next year I am taking leaders from all around the world – men and women. Even I received permission from the UAE leadership to take three of you [meant Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi] with us for two weeks to Antarctica,” Swan said.

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), organised a lecture by Robert Swan on Sunday in the capital where he asked people don’t think what people would say, just believe in yourself and what you are doing.

Swan has dedicated his life by raising awareness on the preservation of Antarctica, the Earth’s last great wilderness. He formed his company, 2041 Foundation, an organisation dedicated to this goal and to inform, engage and inspire the next generation of leaders to take responsibility for sustainability.

“Our goal is to clean up 326 million tonnes of carbon from our atmosphere before 2025 and we need youngsters to join the mission for clean renewable energy and its usage,” Swan said who travelled to South Pole 30 years ago since then he started telling the world to save the world cutting down CO2 emissions and using clean energy.

“If I can survive in Antarctica on renewable solar energy you also can survive on the land on solar energy. If we use right renewable energy and biofuels and it will be great for our planet. I have seen lots of ice is breaking in Antarctica, we have to save our planet.”

“Me and my son survived 60 days 600 more miles to walk on renewable energy. With the help of NASA, we had developed a very simple ice melting system. In Antarctica, we had to melt the water to drink and heat our meals to eat,” he said.

He advised people the best solution to fight CO2 emissions is to plant a tree. “If you plant one tree it removes one tonne of CO2 from atmosphere.”

He said 28 years ago nobody heard of global warming and climate change. But today if anybody doesn’t believe it I will take him to Antarctica and leave him for a while. When the ice will crack under his feet he will understand, he said.

In past eight years, his team has cleared more than 1,500 twisted metals from Antarctica with support of business men, women and youngsters.

“Today you are sitting here because I have a story to tell you. If I don’t have a good story you all will be gone. Nobody will listen to me. So I urge you to observe in Antarctica and tell people what you have seen there and inspire them,” Swan said.

Whereas the cost of the journey is concerned, Swan said it depends on how many people go but generally it costs approximately US$10,000 to US$15,000 (Dh55,106) for a person. But the EAD said the trip was only for its employees and the selection will be done soon.