Along with the presentation of the Awards, the evening included a display of beautiful photos from Enzo Barracco’s The Noise of Ice: Antarctica, a photobooth for the Stories of Change project, and also saw Ashden celebrate reaching more than 200 Award winners.
There to support the cause was former US Vice-President Al Gore who gave an inspirational keynote speech addressing the climate crisis, questions of change, and the sustainability movement.
He posed three questions to an audience of over 600 people about reversing the climate crisis: do we really have to change, can we change, and will we change?
To answer the first, he highlighted the increasingly powerful signs of Mother Nature to demonstrate the urgency of the crisis. With reference to heavy rainfalls, dry seasons and the disruption of the entire water cycle of the earth, as well as increasing air temperatures, the spread of diseases and the increasing strength of storms, he concluded that of course we must change.
To answer the second question, he used the Ashden Award winners as an example to prove that we can change. He praised their work and the good they do for individuals, families, communities and businesses.
He went on to explain that we are in the midst of a sustainability revolution – possibly one of the greatest global transformations – that is being embraced by developing and developed nations alike.