26 September 2019: The UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change initiative announced the winners of the 2019 UN Global Climate Action Awards, as part of broader efforts to mobilize action and ambition to implement and achieve the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs. The 15 winning projects in four categories will be showcased at the Santiago Climate Change Conference in December.

The Momentum for Change initiative recognizes innovative solutions that address climate change while also helping to drive progress on other SDGs, such as gender equality (SDG 5), economic opportunity (SDG 8) and innovation (SDG 9). Momentum for Change Advisory Panel Chair, Gabrielle Ginér, said the winning activities are “amazing examples of innovative, scalable and replicable climate action.” Ginér expressed hope that the winners will inspire others to tackle society’s biggest challenges.

In 2019, over 670 activities and initiatives applied for the Momentum for Change award. Applicants came from all over the world, and range from multi-million dollar impact investment projects to grassroots initiatives.

For the Planetary Health category, the winning projects are:

  • Impossible Foods, which is creating a plant-based burger that provides an alternative to meat in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and the US. Impossible Burgers, which launched in 2016, are served in over 17,000 restaurants, including fast food ones like Burger King and White Castle;
  • Alipay Ant Forest, which is using digital technologies to scale up climate action in China;
  • Ghent en Garde, which is creating structural change through local food policy in Belgium; and
  • Electriciens sans frontiers, which is providing “emergency pockets” of solar energy for health centers in Dominica.

In the Climate Neutral Now (CNN) category, the winning initiatives are:

  • MAX Burgers, which is creating the world’s first “climate positive” menu in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Poland. The restaurant chain defines climate positive as “removing more climate gases than the value chain emits while at the same time reducing emissions in line with the 1.5 degree goal from Paris.” Each item on the menu includes a carbon dioxide (CO2) emission label to empower customers to understand the climate impact of their food;
  • Natura’s Carbon Neutral Programme, which is measuring and reducing emissions across their global value chain;
  • Apple’s Emissions Reduction Mission, which is reducing the company’s emissions through innovative product design and clean energy; and
  • Infosys’ Journey to Carbon Neutrality, which is pursuing carbon neutrality in India.

In the Women for Results category, the winning activities are:

  • Campaign for Female Education’s Climate-Smart Agriculture Guides, which is training young women from marginalized farming communities to become agriculture guides in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Eco Wave Power, a project co-founded and led by a female CEO, which is generating clean energy from the ocean in Israel and Gibraltar;
  • Mothers Out Front, which is mobilizing over 24,000 mothers for a livable climate for their children in the US through campaigning for national-level reforms and local initiatives, such as advocating for upgrading to electric school buses; and
  • Women’s Action Towards Climate Resilience in South Asia, which is empowering women in low-income households in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

In the Financing for Climate Friendly Investment, the winning initiatives are:

  • Beyond the Grid Fund, which is providing affordable, off-grid clean energy solutions in Zambia;
  • Quebec’s International Climate Cooperation Program, which is issuing climate finance and support to developing countries, using funding from the province’s carbon market; and
  • Women’s Livelihood Bond Series, which is unlocking over USD 150 million in capital to empower over two million women in South and Southeast Asia.

A webpage on each winner presents their case and describes the challenge and the solution addressed by the initiative. The UNFCCC announced the winners during Climate Week NYC 2019. [UNFCCC Press Release] [UNFCCC Winner Announcement] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on 2018 Winner Announcement] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on 2018 Momentum for Change Report]