Sixteen game-changing initiatives from around the world were honoured as winners of a prestigious United Nations climate change award at a special ceremony at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
“These ‘Lighthouse Activities’ shine a light on the groundswell of climate action around the world,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a keynote address. “As the world moves toward a future built on low-emissions sustainable development, these bold ideas can inspire leaders to be more ambitious in their own policies and actions.
The Momentum for Change initiative is spearheaded by the UN Climate Change secretariat to shine a light on some of the most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of what people are doing to address climate change. This year’s winning activities range from a seriously cool smartphonethat puts social values first toan initiative that is enabling 40 Latin American cities to take concrete climate action.
“I am honoured to celebrate the leadership shown by the people, organizations , companies and governments recognized as winners of the 2015 Momentum for Change Awards tonight,”said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said.
“By showcasing these remarkable solutions and the people behind them we can strengthen efforts that must not only start with an agreement here in Paris but must continue to build, as we accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon, highly resilient development path,” she said.
To help celebrate and recognize the achievements of the 2015 Lighthouse Activities, attendees at the gala event were treated to powerful photos, inspirational videos and a lively musical performance by Sean Paul.
M. Sanjayan, a conservation scientist, writer and Emmy-nominated television news contributor, introduced Conservation International’s newest video in its critically acclaimedNature is Speakingseries, titledHome. Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse CEO and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.
“Modern clean technologies have transformed the expensive problem of climate change into a profitable opportunity,” said Dr. Piccard. “A global economy that is powered by renewable energy, implements energy efficient and minimizes waste will not only tackle climate change, but will also generate health, job creation and profit in the communities where they take place.”
All 16 were showcased at a series of special events during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, France:
- E-waste: From Toxic to Green | India: Creating jobs to keep e-waste out of landfills
- Solvatten Solar Safe Water Heater | Kenya: Reducing emissions while securing access to safe drinking water
- Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative | Latin America & the Caribbean: Supporting sustainable growth in emerging cities
- Fostering Cleaner Production | Colombia: Reducing emissions in manufacturing
- Harvesting Geothermal Energy | El Salvador: Generating income with geothermal waste-heat
- Planting Trees to Save the Mangrove | Guinea: Establishing women-led groups that protect forests and generate income
- SELF’s Solar Market Gardens | Benin:Empowering women farmers through solar drip irrigation
- Azuri PayGo Energy | Africa: Innovating pay-as-you-go energy systems for rural homes
- Deforestation-free Cocoa | Peru: Using a carbon-asset-backed loan to protect forests and produce cocoa
- Microsoft Global Carbon Fee | Global: Transforming corporate culture by putting a price on carbon
- ChargePoint Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors | United States of America: Building a network of electric vehicle express charging stations
- Enabling Farmersto Adapt to Climate Change | Uganda: Using ICT solutions to build resilience
- Fairphone | The Netherlands: Producing a phone that improves lives and the environment
- Lifelink Water Solutions | Kenya and Uganda: Using ICT tools to provide safe, sustainable and affordable water
- Mapping Exposure to Sea Level Rise | Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea: Preparing for risk with online spatial tools
- Mobisol Smart Solar Homes | Rwanda and Tanzania: Powering homes with solar energy
The 2015 Lighthouse Activities were selected by an international advisory panel as part of the secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative, which is implemented with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.