Lima, Peru - Delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, were treated to an evening of hope and optimism as the winners of the 2014 Momentum for Change Awards were feted tonight at a gala event.
"These 'Lighthouse Activities' are a beacon of hope for the world," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "Their bold ideas show the world how to help realize the promise of low-carbon, sustainable development. It is my hope that these creative minds will inspire leaders to be more ambitious in their own policies and actions, so that together the world can secure a meaningful, universal climate change agreement in Paris next year. Let us take inspiration from these shining examples and build a brighter future for all."
Momentum for Change is spearheaded by the UN Climate Change secretariat to shine a light on some of the best examples of climate solutions - to inspire increased climate action around the world.
This year's winners, or "Lighthouse Activities," range from a Latin American microfinance initiative that is unlocking resources for climate action across the region to a billion-dollar company that is leading a solar energy boom in Thailand to an African program that is building a market of climate friendly homes that improve lives. With the addition of a new focus area on information and communications technology (ICT), this year's Lighthouse Activities encompass a wider and more diverse range of solutions than ever before.
"The Lighthouse Activities highlight the transformative power of entrepreneurial citizens and communities across the globe," said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. "Here in Lima, governments are working toward a long-term vision of climate neutrality in the pursuit of development that is truly sustainable for all. This year's Lighthouse Activities are living proof that climate action is happening in the North and South, East and West."
To help celebrate and recognize the achievements of the 2014 Lighthouse Activities, attendees at the gala event were treated to powerful photos, inspirational videos and a lively musical performance by Novalima, a Latin Grammy-nominated band. Charly Alberti, Founder and Director of the Latin American sustainability organization R21, served as the evening's Master of Ceremonies.
"Latin America can develop in a more sustainable way with more of these kinds of activities," said Mr. Alberti. "The projects from this region are leading by example, and showing that Latin America's growth can go hand-in-hand with the protection of its natural resources."
The 2014 Lighthouse Activity winners are:
* Bhungroo | India: Building agricultural resilience by harvesting rainwater.
* Building Storm-Resistant Houses | Vietnam: Increasing people's resilience to climate change.
* Community-Based Flood Early-Warning System | India: Protecting people from floods using ICT solutions.
* Earth Roofs in the Sahel Program | Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali,
Senegal: Improving lives by building climate friendly homes.
* EcoMicro | Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru: Unlocking resources for climate action.
* Ibu Inspirasi | Indonesia: Empowering women with green jobs and clean technologies.
* Lighten the Energy Bill | Africa, Asia-Pacific, Western Europe: Saving energy through innovative financing.
* National Resettlement Plan | Uruguay: Resettling families to adapt to climate change.
* Resolve: Trash2Cash | India: Empowering communities to address climate change.
* SmartSense | India, Malaysia: Reducing energy consumption in real time.
* Solar Power Company Group | Thailand: Leading a women-empowered solar energy transformation.
* Zurich Flood Resilience Program | Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru: Enhancing flood resilience through insurance expertise.
The 2014 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities were selected by a 25-member international advisory panel as part of the secretariat's Momentum for Change initiative, which is implemented with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.
"It was not an easy task to narrow down the field to 12 winners," said Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, Chair of the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel.
"All of the applicants are making a real difference and leading change in their communities."