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Explorers bid to become first to reach South Pole using only green power

Robert Swan and his son, Barney, want to promote the use of renewable energy to fight climate change.

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Explorers bid to become first to reach South Pole using only green power

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A father-and-son team are bidding to be the first to reach the South Pole using only renewable energy.

Robert Swan and his son, Barney, 23, want to show green solutions can work in extreme conditions and provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels during their eight-week, 600-mile expedition.

Robert, a seasoned explorer, has dedicated his life to promoting recycling and green energy to fight climate change.

The British duo, who will set off on Wednesday (November 15), will have solar panels tacked to their sledges, which will power a NASA-designed ice melter to provide them with water to drink and cook with.

Robert, the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles, is the founder of 2041, an organisation that seeks to inspire more people to become environmental-friendly.

The number is a reference to the 50th anniversary of when the Antarctic Treaty – which protects the southern region by keeping it as a natural reserve – was signed.

The agreement, which is up for review in 2048, stops mining or drilling in the region.

There is no such accord in the Arctic and there have been plans – abandoned in 2015 – by Shell to drill for oil there.

Robert told a TED audience two years ago: “People already in the Arctic are taking advantage of this ice melting, taking out resources from areas that have been covered with ice for the last 10, 20, 30, 100 thousand years.

“Can they not join the dots and think why is the ice already melting?!

“The Antarctic is an amazing place and I have worked hard for the last 23 years on this mission to make sure what’s happening in the north never happens, cannot happen in the south.”