Momentum for Change is looking for bold clean actions

22 January 2015

LONDON: With all major heads of state and governments gathering in Paris at the end of the year for COP21 to discuss a globally binding treaty to reduce pollutant emissions, the UNFCCC is setting out to prove 2015 can be the tipping point for resolute actions on climate change in its Momentum for Change contest.

Millions of individual climate actions are already happening all around the world, and to celebrate them and show the impact they have locally and globally, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has set up the Momentum for Change initiative. It is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.

Video: Momentum for Change - Change for Good from Momentum for Change on Vimeo, courtesy of UNFCC

UNFCCC calls these actions “Lighthouse Activities” because these actions can ‘light’ a community, inspiring new movements and activities in tackling climate disruption. Last year, 12 activities were awarded a prize during the COP20 climate talks in Lima – ranging from large, community solutions to small, entrepreneurial ideas. Our CEO Mark Kenber was proudly part of the 25-members Advisory Panel that had the hard task of choosing the winners among hundreds of very valuable projects.

The projects awarded prove individuals and communities don’t have to wait for important discussions and protocols debated in high-level meetings to take action in protecting their environment. For example, the project “Ibu Inspirasi” helps 7,000 families in rural areas of Indonesia to move away from using polluting and dangerous kerosene lamps and wood-fired cook stoves.

Momentum for Change

Image: Rural women from the Ibu Inspirasi project, courtesy of UNFCC

Interestingly, the agent of change for that activity is a large network of women, who are becoming green entrepreneurs by selling solar lanterns, water filters and fuel-efficient cook stoves in their own communities.

This is a win-win for women’s social and economic inclusion, for creating new jobs, and for helping a community switch toward a safer low carbon economy. The Climate Group is on the frontline of this revolution with our program Bijli – Clean energy for all, which is helping thousands of Indians in rural areas, not connected to the power grid, to use clean energy.

Momentum for Change has now opened its application process for new green ideas that are scalable, innovative and replicable. “This year is a critical year for the future of our planet,” said Nick Nuttall, UNFCCC Spokesperson and Head of Communications and Outreach. “Showcasing the great leadership of people around the world taking action on climate change can inspire national governments to be more ambitious in their own policies and actions, so that together the world can secure a new, universal climate change agreement in Paris later this year.”

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by Ilario D'Amato

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