Momentum for Change
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 countries.
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.
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 Christiana Figueres.
“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
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.