Never before has the need to address climate change been so urgent. But never before has the response gathered so much momentum.

There are thousands of examples of organizations, cities, industries, governments and other key players around the world shifting to a low-carbon, highly resilient future. Each year, the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change initiative shines a light on some of the best and brightest examples to focus global attention on climate solutions that are making a real difference.

Thailand is on the verge of a solar energy transformation as private companies have committed to investing at least USD 2 billion over the next five years in solar power production.

Last year’s winners are among the most innovative, scalable and replicable climate solutions we have ever seen. They range from a multi-million-dollar initiative unlocking climate finance across Latin America to an enterprise building climate-friendly homes in Africa to an early-warning system protecting people from floods in the Indian Himalayan foothills.

With the addition of a new focus area on information and communications technology (ICT), the 2014 Lighthouse Activities encompassed a wider and more diverse range of solutions than ever before.


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can reduce energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to climate change.


Last year was a banner year both for the winning activities and the Momentum for Change initiative itself. New partnerships and new celebrity endorsements amplified our messages more than ever before.

We were delighted to team up with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador and Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder to produce an inspiring documentary that highlights the growing global momentum towards tackling climate change.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador Antonio Banderas, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, economist Nicholas Stern and journalist Thomas Friedman generously lent us their voices – which you can hear narrating some of our shorter videos.

Ian Somerhalder narrating the Climate Heroes: Stories of Change.

Our animated video narrated by screen star Mark Ruffalo ran on CNN and CNBC as a free public service announcement for several months last year and was seen by millions of people worldwide. Watch the video here.

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, we organized a series of special events and activities to tell the stories of our 12 inspiring Lighthouse Activities. Our annual Oscars-like event to showcase and celebrate the winning activities was a conference highlight, featuring remarks from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. To help 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.

Lima also marked the launch of our new UN Climate Talks Live project, which gathered and visualized millions of tweets on climate change-related topics, showing conference participants and website visitors the hot topics and trends as they were happening.

We had a live demonstration of one of the technologies used by a Lighthouse Activity that works in Indonesia. Celebrity chefs Gastón Acurio and Virgilio Martínez took time out of their busy schedules to make a traditional dish using clean cook stoves. The event generated dozens of media headlines across Latin America, underscoring the importance of transformational climate action.

To keep attention focused on previous winners throughout the year, we launched a podcast series. We interviewed previous Lighthouse Activity winners to talk about their initiative and get an update on recent progress.

Our Advisory Panel – our committed team of experts from various fields and countries – continued to grow, with 25 members comprising the panel in 2014.

Of course, none of our success in 2014 would have been possible without the generous support from our partners – the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, the World Economic Forum and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.

By curtailing desertification, the Bhungroo technology helps women to build resilience to climate change and serves to rejuvenate local biodiversity.


This year is shaping up to be a historic one for the future of our planet.

The 2014 Lighthouse Activities, together with what promises to be another outstanding group of winning activities in 2015, shows that action on climate change is not only possible but that it is already happening.

Showcasing the great leadership of people around the world taking action on climate change can inspire national governments to be more ambitious in their own policies and actions, injecting confidence into the global movement towards a new, universal climate change agreement in Paris later this year.

As you read through this annual report, I hope you will feel inspired by the incredible work underway around the world to address climate change. I encourage you to let these stories serve as a beacon of hope, guiding us ever closer towards a low-carbon, highly resilient future.

Christiana Figueres looks out over the Himalayan mountains in Nepal, following a site visit to Momentum for Change award-winning project BioComp Nepal in Kathmandu.