12 October 2017: The 2017 UNFCCC Momentum for Change Climate Solution Awards, which honor innovative, scalable and replicable actions to tackle climate change, have been announced. Known as ‘Lighthouse Activities,’ the 19 winning initiatives contribute to a global picture of accelerating climate action and commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 19 selected initiatives come from a variety of sectors from around the world, and highlight inspiring climate action activities with linkages not only to SDG 13 (climate action) but also to other SDGs across five themes: women for results, financing for climate-friendly investment, information and communication technology (ICT) solutions, planetary health, and climate-neutral now.

In the ‘Women for Results’ category, five winners were announced: ‘From Waste to Wow,’ Italy, a woman-led, eco-fashion social enterprise addressing climate change by recycling high-quality fabric waste from fashion companies to produce women’s clothing collections; ‘More Corals = More Fish,’ Belize, an initiative offering grant-funded or subsidized marine tourism and lagoon ecology training programs for women; ‘Sustainable Agriculture with Gender Inclusion and Participation,’ Ecuador, an organization teaching women sustainable food production techniques through agricultural measures that increase food security and reduce carbon emissions; and ‘Building Resilient Livelihoods,’ Sudan, a project which distributes agricultural packages to women farmers, including hands-on training in conservation agricultural techniques, and access to finance and markets.

The 19 winners of the 2017 Momentum for Change Awards will be showcased at a series of events at COP 23.

In the ‘Financing for Climate-Friendly Investment’ category, announced winners include: ‘Kaxu Solar One,’ South Africa, the world’s first large-scale concentrated solar power plant, developed and constructed with private-sector capital leveraged by the International Finance Corporation (IFC); and ‘Green Finance and the Aggregation of Swedish Local Government Investment Projects,’ Sweden, a Green Bonds Framework which offers green loans that contribute to developing a climate-neutral society. Also among the winners announced in this category is a project from the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), hosted by the UN University (UNU) Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). The Partnerships to Advance Climate Risk Insurance Approaches initiative in Grenada, Jamaica and Saint Lucia won for its ‘Livelihood Protection Policy’ (LPP), which aims to support climate-vulnerable populations by enabling individuals to sign up for climate risk insurance regardless of their income or profession. [UNU Press Release]

In the ‘ICT Solutions’ category, four winners were announced: ‘ICTs For Small-Scale Farmers: A Game Changing Approach to Climate-Smart Agriculture in Latin America,’ Colombia and Honduras, an initiative providing a range of ICT tools to help farmers make climate-smart decisions; ‘SmartICE,’ Canada, a tool that helps the Inuit adapt to thinning sea ice by providing information to aid in the planning of safe routes on the ice; ‘Green Credit Card,’ Republic of Korea, a credit card in which users receive benefits when they buy ecological products, use public transport, make paperless transactions, and consume less electricity, water and gas; and ‘Climate Change Impacts on Mountain Biodiversity (CLIMB),’ France, Italy and Switzerland, a Biodiversity and Climate Change Observatory to measure and report the impact of climate change in the Mont Blanc region.

Four initiatives were awarded in the ‘Planetary Health’ category: ‘Restoring Peatlands in Russia,’ Russian Federation, a project led by Wetlands International and supported by German and Russian Governments, to restore peatlands in Russia; ‘Cleaning our Oceans of Plastic, Solving Extreme Poverty and Reducing Emissions of Global Supply Chains,’ Haiti and Southeast Asia, an initiative to encourage recycling of plastic and reduce the spread of tropical diseases through removing mosquito breeding grounds caused by plastic in waterways; ‘Reclaiming Global Waterways and Beaches,’ France, a partnership between TerraCycle and Procter & Gamble to manufacture the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from “beach plastic” waste for the shampoo brand Head & Shoulders; and ‘Sustainable Energy for Safe Childbirth,’ Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Nepal, a project which saves lives in childbirth by bringing solar power to remote, off-grid and under-resourced medical centers.

In the ‘Climate Neutral Now’ category, three winners were announced: ‘Plan A Carbon Reduction,’ UK, the sustainability strategy of Marks & Spencer which enabled the British retailer to become carbon-neutral in the UK and Ireland in 2012, and worldwide in 2014; ‘Net Positive Wine,’ US, Fetzer Vineyards, the world’s first zero waste-certified wine company, and the first winery in California to operate on 100% renewable energy; ‘Aviva’s Climate-Neutral Plan,’ UK, the global insurance group which became carbon-neutral in 2006, and has since saved 1.3 million tonnes CO2 equivalent (CO2eq) through carbon finance projects; and ‘The Zero Carbon Police Force,’ United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai Police which aims to become the first police force in the world to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

The 19 winners of the 2017 Momentum for Change Awards will be showcased at a series of events at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC, taking place in Bonn, Germany, from 6-17 November 2017. [UNFCCC Momentum for Change Website] [UNFCCC Press Release]