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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

UN decorates outstanding environment-friendly initiatives

Ghanaian bamboo bikes
Ghanaian bamboo bikes

Seventeen activities that serve as shining examples of the enormous groundswell of action underway across the globe to address climate change were honoured on Wednesday at an Oscar-like ceremony at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland.

The projects were selected as 2013 Lighthouse Activities under the Momentum for Change initiative of the United Nations Climate Change secretariat.
Taking place in countries across four continents, the activities showcased range from both small, entrepreneurial solutions, such as a women-led project that builds bamboo bicycles in Ghana, as well as large initiatives, such as a financing scheme in the Philippines to unlock resources needed to address climate change. Each of the activities is driven by people who are passionate about providing climate change solutions for their cities and communities.
To help celebrate and recognise the achievements of the 2013 Lighthouse Activities, attendees at the gala event were treated to inspiring speeches, powerful photos, inspirational videos and a rousing musical performance by Rocky Dawuni, Goodwill Ambassador for the Global Alliance of Clean Cookstoves.
“These activities shine a light on the work being done throughout the world to build a low-carbon, resource efficient world,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. “Not only are these activities tackling climate change, they are also generating health, financial and social benefits in the communities where they take place. They are true beacons of hope, demonstrating what happens when innovation and passion come together to address the biggest challenge of our time.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the innovative ideas of the Lighthouse Activity representatives are helping people around the world respond to climate change: “Momentum for Change shines a light on local efforts to address the impacts of climate change. These initiatives are delivering profound economic, social and environmental benefits and demonstrating the power of innovative finance and the potential for long-term transformational change by women and urban poor. They deserve to be scaled-up and replicated.”
Selected from a pool of 252 worthy applications, the 17 Lighthouse Activities honoured at Wednesday’s ceremony were:
*  Australia: 1 Million Women, building a movement to get one million women to take small steps in their everyday lives to cut greenhouse gas emissions
*  Bangladesh: Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction, a women-centered initiative to address extreme weather conditions in vulnerable communities
*  China: The China CDM Fund, supporting low-carbon growth and climate resilience through levies on clean development mechanism projects
*  Ghana: Recycle not a Waste Initiative, empowering street youth to turn recyclable waste into a low-carbon business opportunity
*  Ghana: Bamboo Bikes Initiative, women leading on climate change by building high-quality bamboo bicycles
*  Multi-regional: Redavia, leasing affordable solar farms without up-front capital investment or long-term obligations
*  Multi-regional: The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme, spearheaded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) channeling climate finance to smallholder farmers to build their resilience to climate change
*  Guatemala: Alliance for International Reforestation: Women Farmers in Guatemala, planting trees to sequester carbon and improve farming techniques
*  India: Pollinate Energy, bringing solar energy to Bangalore’s slums while creating green jobs
*  India: Community Based Micro Climate Resilience, building flood-resilient and affordable homes
*  Kenya: The BOMA Project, enabling vulnerable women to adapt to climate change by building small businesses
*  Liberia: Fostering Innovative Sanitation and Hygiene, providing fecal sludge management services in poor areas, capturing biogas and reducing methane emissions.
*  Mexico: ECOCASA, unlocking financing to build low-carbon housing and increase the number of “green” mortgages.
*  Mozambique: Public Private People Partnerships for Climate Compatible Development, empowering the urban poor to design and implement activities to adapt to climate change
*  Philippines: Sustainable Energy Finance Program, an innovative financing scheme to unlock resources needed to address climate change
*  South Africa: Food & Trees for Africa, fostering women’s leadership through planting trees and raising awareness about climate change
*  Sudan: Low Smoke Stoves Project, providing mico-financing opportunities to replace polluting cook stoves with energy-efficient cook stoves
The 2013 Lighthouse Activities were selected by a 16-member, international advisory panel as part of the secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum.

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