Hello everyone,

I’m Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Convention. We launched Momentum for Change five years ago, to demonstrate that we already have everything we need to solve climate change. The technologies exist, the drive exists, and the requisite passion is found worldwide.

Momentum for Change shines a light on action underway across the globe that is moving the world toward a highly resilient, low-emission future. Momentum for Change recognizes innovative and transformative solutions that address both climate change and our wider economic, social, and environmental challenges. We call these solutions Lighthouse Activities. They’re some of the most practical, scalable, and replicable examples of what people, businesses, governments, and industries are doing to tackle climate change.

These 2015 Momentum for Change Lighthouse activities, alongside the activities over the last five years, highlight the best and brightest on the forefront of change. Momentum for Change saw a record breaking 452 applications in 2015 – more than ever, demonstrating that momentum is mounting. The 16 chosen Lighthouse Activities for 2015 cover projects in four pillar areas: Urban Poor, Women for Results, Financing for Climate Friendly Investment, and ICT Solutions.

This year, we give special thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which has been a partner of Momentum for Change from the very beginning. Momentum for Change could not have pushed as far, or as fast, without their unwavering support.

We also give special thanks to the Rockefeller Foundation, which partnered with us for three years. Their support helped shine a light on the amazing women around the world whose climate solutions are changing lives.

And, of course, we are continually thankful to the generous support of our current partners in the World Economic Forum Global Project on Climate Change, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, and Masdar’s Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy initiative, without whom none of our success would be possible.

2015 was a historic year for both Momentum for Change and the global community at large. Now, developing and developed countries are united in commitment to curb emissions. The Paris Climate Change Agreement adopted last December, codified what has always been true, that we are all in this together.

In his closing remarks at COP21, President François Hollande said Paris is a place where many revolutions have occurred, and that a peaceful revolution had just taken place, “a revolution for climate change.”

A lasting revolution takes constant and sustained effort to tend the seeds that are planted with the freshly tilled soil of change. The Paris Agreement tilled the soil. Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities are the seeds. We must keep pushing for deeper, faster climate action. And we must keep planting.

It is with deep gratitude, that I say thank you to all the Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities over the years, and to all those who continue to push for deeper faster climate action in your own corners of the globe. It has been a true privilege and a joy to oversee and partake in the growth of this meaningful and important initiative. I will be forever moved by your dedication and passion and your excitement.

The Paris Agreement, and the Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities remind us that we have made great strides. There are many reasons to be optimistic. And there is also much work still to be done. It will take every single one of us, doing all we can, all the time, to move the world toward a highly resilient, low-emission future. Each of us must seize our own opportunity to add to the momentum for change, momentum for good. I hope you’ll join me.