As part of its Momentum for Change Initiative, the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has begun presenting the latest round of public-private Lighthouse Activities in developing countries which either help to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or help people adapt to climate change, while at the same time benefit the urban poor.
The nine Lighthouse Activities will be showcased at special events at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, scheduled for 26 November to 7 December.
The activities include the promotion of electric buses and rickshaws in Sri Lanka, energy efficient brick kilns in Peru and a project to support to the work of clean energy entrepreneurs in Uganda.
“We are very excited to showcase this year’s lighthouse activities as they demonstrate the commitment by communities, civil society organizations, local governments and private businesses to take concrete action to address climate change. The examples are inspiring and encouraging, not least for governments who have already set the course towards greater climate resilience, but who need to take the next essential steps to galvanize the speed and scope of climate action,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres.
Two key criteria for the selection of the initiatives are that they have proven to be effective and have the potential to be replicated in other countries and communities. They were selected by an international advisory panel as part of the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change Initiative, which is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to interact with the activity partners in two social media discussions ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, on 14 and 21 November.
Participants can join in via Twitter using the hashtag #m4c2012, according to the UNFCCC.
The Lighthouse Activities are: Solar Sister, a door-to-door green energy social enterprise in Uganda; Ahmedabad bus rapid transit system in India, which created an integrated and accessible public transport system; BioComp Nepal, a waste reduction project involving composting organic waste in Nepal; Energy efficiency in artisanal brick kilns in Latin America (EELA) in Peru, which promotes cleaner-burning artisanal brick kilns; and, Lifestraw Carbon For Water in Kenya, which uses carbon financing to fund household level water purification packs.
Others are: Adaptation to coastal erosion in vulnerable areas, an Adaptation Fund-supported activity in Senegal that fights coastal erosion; Lanka Electric Vehicle Association in Sri Lanka, who have piloted the use of electric buses and rickshaws in Colombo; Holistic approaches to community adaptation to climate change, a Namibia-based activity that uses a six-point method to assist local communities in adapting to climate change; and, Guangzhou bus rapid transit system in China, one of the largest integrated bus rapid transit systems in the world.
Momentum for Change aims to create a public platform that raises awareness about concrete mitigation and adaptation actions being implemented by a wide range of stakeholders at regional, national, or local level. It seeks to demonstrate the multiple benefits of addressing climate change and to transform misperceptions surrounding taking action on climate change.
The project was launched last year at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. Activities showcased in Durban included providing farmers in the Horn of Africa with micro-insurance against crop failure, the distribution of clean cook stoves, and the use of solar bottle lights in the Philippines.
With 195 Parties, the UNFCCC has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, ratified by 193 of the UNFCCC Parties. Under the Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialised countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilise GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.