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Applications open for 10th anniversary edition of Global Climate Action Awards

Starting Monday, February 8, 2021, organisations, businesses, universities, governments and others taking bold leadership on climate change can nominate their work for a special 10th anniversary edition of the UN Global Climate Action Awards.

patricia espinosa
Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UNFCCC

The annual award programme, run by United Nations Climate Change since 2011, recognises the world’s most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of action to tackle climate change.

This year’s award will showcase people and projects taking bold and effective climate action in the areas of climate neutrality, innovative climate finance and climate leadership.

The 2021 award winners will be celebrated at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, in November – considered the most important climate conference since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015.

Year 2021 also marks the 10th anniversary of the award programme and its efforts to demonstrate that climate action is underway around the world.

A special new award category called “Climate Leaders” has been added for 2021. It will recognise transformational and replicable government action and ambition at any level (national, regional, city, town, etc.), helping to strengthen the case for the increased climate action and ambition that is urgently needed to ensure the world can limit the increase in global average temperature rise this century to 1.5 degrees Celsius and to build resilience to climate change.

“The world has entered a climate emergency, which demands that we increase action to address climate change at all levels as quickly as possible,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.

“More leadership and direction from national governments and people in all areas of society is urgently needed. The UN Global Climate Action Awards are an opportunity to recognise leaders who are not only taking such action, but providing an inspiring example for other governments, businesses, cities and communities to follow,” she added.

According to the UNFCCC, the UN Global Climate Action Awards shine a light on activities which aim to help achieve the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. The Awards have for example recognised transformational initiatives such as the Government of Quebec’s climate finance program, Google’s Project Sunroof, and Microsoft’s internal carbon fee.

Other past winners also include the world’s greenest football club, the first all-women solar team in Lebanon, a Swedish restaurant chain that is creating the world’s first “climate positive” menu, and one of Africa’s first national environment and climate change investment funds.

The 2021 UN Global Climate Action Awards will recognise climate action that is already achieving real and tangible results in three categories:

  1. Climate Neutral Now: recognising efforts by individuals, companies and governments that are achieving real results in transitioning to climate neutrality.
  2. Financing for Climate Friendly Investment: recognising successful financial innovations for adaptation and climate mitigation.
  3. Climate Leaders: recognising transformational efforts by governments at any level (national, provincial, state, city, town) that are moving the needle on climate change.

The award’s Advisory Panel, made up of senior experts from various fields and countries, will select the 2021 winners.

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