Momentum for Change
Addressing climate change
effectively is not only a challenge, it is also an opportunity. Growth that is based on high resilience and
low carbon is at the centre of all efforts to address climate change.
There are myriad opportunities to benefit people directly, while at the same time contributing to global
efforts to control emissions or enhance adaptation capacity, and these opportunities have already been seized
by many stakeholders, at national or sub-national levels.
Under a new initiative entitled ‘Momentum for Change’, the secretariat will create a series of
platforms to recognize and encourage such projects. The first platform of the series focuses on successful
and effective private-public partnerships, in particular those that benefit the urban poor in developing
Beacons of opportunity
These "Lighthouse Projects" are beacons of opportunity, pointing the direction
towards fulfilling the objectives of the Convention. The new initiative will be launched during COP 17/CMP 7
in Durban. Key criteria for the selection of the projects is that they contribute towards fighting
poverty, can be replicated in other countries and can be scaled-up.
Examples of projects that will be showcased include the retrieval of
valuable drinking water from mining activities, the distribution of clean cook stoves in African countries,
providing farmers in the Horn of Africa with micro-insurance against crop failure resulting from droughts and
floods, and the use of solar “bottle lights” to bring light into homes in the Philippines.
“People in developing countries are more willing to take action on climate change when they are at the
same time able to reduce poverty. It is therefore essential that awareness is created about these beacons of
opportunity, which shed a light on what people are doing on the ground at national, regional and local level
to creatively and effectively respond to the challenge,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary
“Given that many people and organizations are already doing fantastic work, I believe that
governments can take heart and be more ambitious in their national and international climate policies when
they see to what extent curbing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing poverty can be two sides of the same
coin,” Ms. Figueres said. “It is essential that progress is made both on climate finance and
curbing emissions in Durban. And governments need to get a better sense of what is possible, given the right
type of support,” she added.
The first stage of the Momentum for Change Initiative is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
and will be launched at a special event in Durban on the evening of 6 December. The event will be attended by
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa.
Similar showcase events are to be held at UN climate change conferences over the next three years. Virtual
products, such as online videos, are to be used alongside physical events in order to ensure the widest
possible dissemination and engagement with stakeholders.
More information on the initiative, including examples of projects and an explanation of how they are
selected, as well as details of the launch event in Durban on 6 December, can be found here.