Projects From Across the Globe to be Honoured at UN Climate Conference in Paris

Sixteen game-changing initiatives from around the world were announced today as winners of a prestigious United Nations climate change award.

Winning activities include a seriously cool smartphone that puts social values first and an initiative that is enabling 40 Latin American cities to take concrete climate action.

Others include a women-led initiative in Benin that uses solar energy to empower women farmers and an internal carbon fee that holds the business units of one of the world’s most famous software and ICT companies financially responsible for reducing their carbon emissions.

The Momentum for Change initiative is spearheaded by the UN Climate Change secretariat to shine a light on some of the most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of what people are doing to address climate change. Today’s announcement is part of wider efforts to mobilize action and ambition as national governments work toward adopting a new universal climate agreement in Paris.

“With less than 35 days to go until the climate change conference in Paris, the Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities are further compelling proof that climate action is building worldwide and in countries, communities, companies and cities everywhere,” UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said.

“By showcasing these remarkable solutions and the people behind them we can strengthen efforts toward that new agreement, accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon, highly resilient development path and mark a turning point in the sustainable management of planet Earth for the seven billion alive today and the ten billion by 2050.”

Each of the 16 winning activities touches on one of Momentum for Change’s four focus areas: Urban Poor, Women for Results, Financing for Climate Friendly Investment and ICT Solutions. All 16 will be showcased at a series of special events during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, France (30 November to 11 December).

The 2015 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities are:

Urban Poor

  • E-waste: From Toxic to Green | India: Creating jobs to keep e-waste out of landfills
  • Solvatten Solar Safe Water Heater | Kenya: Reducing emissions while securing access to safe drinking water
  • Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative | Latin America & the Caribbean: Supporting sustainable growth in emerging cities

Women for Results

  • Fostering Cleaner Production | Colombia: Reducing emissions in manufacturing
  • Harvesting Geothermal Energy | El Salvador: Generating income with geothermal waste-heat
  • Planting Trees to Save the Mangrove | Guinea: Establishing women-led groups that protect forests and generate income
  • SELF’s Solar Market Gardens | Benin: Empowering women farmers through solar drip irrigation

Financing for Climate Friendly Investment

  • Azuri PayGo Energy | Africa: Innovating pay-as-you-go energy systems for rural homes
  • Deforestation-free Cocoa | Peru: Using a carbon-asset-backed loan to protect forests and produce cocoa
  • Microsoft Global Carbon Fee | Global: Transforming corporate culture by putting a price on carbon

ICT Solutions

  • ChargePoint Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors | United States of America: Building a network of
    electric vehicle express charging stations
  • Enabling Farmers to Adapt to Climate Change | Uganda: Using ICT solutions to build resilience
  • Fairphone | The Netherlands: Producing a phone that improves lives and the environment
  • Lifelink Water Solutions | Kenya and Uganda: Using ICT tools to provide safe, sustainable and affordable water
  • Mapping Exposure to Sea Level Rise | Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea: Preparing for risk with online spatial tools
  • Mobisol Smart Solar Homes | Rwanda and Tanzania: Powering homes with solar energy

The 2015 Lighthouse Activities were selected by an international advisory panel as part of the secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative, which is implemented with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.

“The 2015 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities comprise an impressive range of projects and personal stories that touch on sustainability, climate protection, environmental consciousness and social responsibility,” said Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, Chair of the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel. “With a record number of applications – more than 450 – this year, the Advisory Panel had a difficult time selecting the best of the best.”

Please note: A special event with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and some of the 2015 Lighthouse Activity winners takes place today (27 October) from 14:30 to 15:30 (GMT), Chandos House, The Duke Room, 2 Queen Anne Street, London, UK.

Photos, fact sheets and infographics are available for download at:

For more information, please contact:
Nick Nuttall, UNFCCC Spokesperson |
+49 228 815 1400 or +49 152 0168 4831 (mobile)
Sarah Marchildon, UNFCCC Communications Officer | | +49 228 815 1065
Oliver Burch, Senior Sustainability Strategist, OgilvyEarth |
+44 (0)207 309 1066 or +44 (0)7880 094 892 (mobile)