Announcement / 26 Sep, 2018
15 Projects Win 2018 UN Climate Action Award

Today, 15 ground-breaking projects from around the world were announced as winners of the United Nations ‘Momentum for Change’ climate action award. These projects showcase how ideas, big and small, are successful in tackling climate change. Activities range from a mobile app that promotes the fight against food waste and hunger worldwide to an entire government that is taking 100% responsibility for its greenhouse gas emissions.

The 15 projects were chosen from a pool of over 560 applications from all over the world ranging from businesses and governments to communities and organizations.

“These activities shine a light on scalable climate action around the world,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change. “They are proof that climate action isn’t only possible, it’s innovative, it’s exciting and it makes a difference.”

Representatives from the following five winning activities spoke at a special event co-hosted by The Climate Group in New York City during Climate Week NYC on 27 September:

  • Creating the Greenest Football Club in the World - Forest Green Rovers | United Kingdom: The Forest Green Rovers are bringing eco-thinking, sustainable living, and renewable technology to football fans.

  • Catalytic Finance Initiative | Global: Bank of America is working with partners to mobilize approximately USD 10 billion for innovative and high-impact climate mitigation and sustainability-focused investments.

  • Santiago Biofactory | Chile: Water utility company, Aguas Andinas, is transforming Santiago’s three wastewater treatment plants into “biofactories” that convert wastewater and sewer sludge, a wastewater treatment byproduct, into clean energy.

  • Carbon Neutral Government Program | Canada: In 2010, British Columbia became the first government at the provincial, territorial, or state level in North America to take 100% responsibility for its greenhouse gas pollution.

  • Sri Lanka Mangrove Conservation Project | Sri Lanka: Seacology, a nonprofit environmental conservation organization, is helping Sri Lanka become the first nation in history to preserve and replant all of its mangrove forests.

“Climate action leaders, including those recognized by the Momentum for Change initiative, are stepping up to meet the global climate challenge by delivering on the Paris Agreement,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “These inspirational leaders, from communities, governments, businesses and organizations, come from all corners of the globe and all levels of society. Their winning projects range from transformative financial investments to women-led solutions to protect people and the planet. Through their leadership and creativity, we see essential change.

The Momentum for Change initiative, spearheaded by the UN Climate Change secretariat, shines light on some of the most practical examples of what people are doing to combat climate change. Today’s announcement is part of a wider effort to mobilize action and ambition as national governments work toward implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The 2018 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities are:

Planetary Health

1. Food for thought

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Climate-Efficient School Kitchens and Plant-Powered Pupils | Germany: Two initiatives which are providing healthy, climate-friendly meals in German schools, initiated by IZT (KEEKS), a non-profit research organization and ProVeg international (Plant Powered Pupils), a nonprofit food awareness organisation.

2. Wastewater, but really useful

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Santiago Biofactory | Chile: Aguas Andinas, Chile’s largest water utility company together with its main shareholder SUEZ, is transforming Santiago’s three wastewater treatment plants into "biofactories” that convert wastewater and sewer sludge, a wastewater treatment by-product, into clean energy

3. A means to an end

Our Soil

Composting Waste Treatment: An Ecological Solution to Poverty and Climate Change | Haiti: Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is building composting toilets in Haiti, reducing the spread of diseases like cholera and typhoid, creating jobs, and restoring local environments.

4. Nourishing the nurseries of the sea

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Sri Lanka Mangrove Conservation Project | Sri Lanka: Seacology, a nonprofit environmental conservation organization, is helping Sri Lanka become the first nation in history to preserve and replant all of its mangrove forests.

Climate Neutral Now

5. Where the club is greener than the field

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Creating the Greenest Football Club in the World - Forest Green Rovers | United Kingdom: The Forest Green Rovers is bringing eco-thinking and technology to a new and large audience: football fans. In 2010, the team began its journey to becoming the world’s first carbon neutral football club and has since been described by FIFA, as “the world's greenest football club”.

6. Emission-free learning

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Monash’s Net Zero Initiative | Australia: Monash University, Australia’s largest university, has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2030 for all four of its Australian campuses.

7. Summiting together

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Klimanjaro – Climate Neutral Supply Chain | Norway: Fjordkraft, the second largest electricity retailer in Norway, is using its purchasing power to inspire all its suppliers to be climate neutral by 2019.

8. Climate responsible government

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Carbon Neutral Government Program | Canada: In 2010, British Columbia became the first government at the provincial, territorial, or state level in North America to take 100% responsibility for the greenhouse gas pollution from all 128 of its public-sector organizations.

Women for Results

9. Tackling emissions and inequality

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“Yalla Let’s Bike” Initiative | Syria: Women are defying traditional gender roles and combatting overcrowded streets by promoting cycling as a healthy and sustainable mode of transportation in the war-ridden city of Damascus.

10. Sharing is caring

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Women Leading a Food Sharing Revolution! | UK, Sweden, USA: Women are leading a food revolution with OLIO, the world's only neighbor-to-neighbor food sharing app. OLIO is co-founded and led by women and two-thirds of the app’s users are women.

11. A blooming business

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HelpUsGreen | India: Women are creating compost from ceremonial flowers and simultaneously cleaning up the River Ganges.

12. Women with power

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Feminist Electrification: Ensuring Pro-Women Outcomes in Rural Energy Access | Haiti: Energy poverty, a lack of access to modern energy services, is disproportionally affecting women in rural areas. So, EarthSpark International, a women-run enterprise, is meeting this challenge head on by approaching all its energy access projects with a gender lens, referring to this as “feminist electrification.”

Financing for Climate Friendly Investment

13. Investing in change

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Rwanda Green Fund – FONERWA | Rwanda: The Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) is investing in public and private projects that drive transformative change. It is one of the first national environment and climate change investment funds in Africa.

14. Growing with change

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The MAIS Program | Brazil: The MAIS Program (Modulo Agroclimático Inteligente e Sustentável) is helping family agricultural operations adapt to climate change in the Jacuípe Basin, Brazil’s semi-arid region. It is one of the first ever climate smart agricultural programmes to mainstream climate disruptive technologies among farmers in Brazil.

15. Invest with impact

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Catalytic Finance Initiative | Global: Bank of America is working with partners to mobilize approximately USD 10 billion for innovative and high-impact climate mitigation and sustainability-focused investments. (Photo: GivePower Foundation)