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Winners of 2017 UN Climate Solutions Awards Announced

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Nineteen ground-breaking initiatives from around the world were announced today as recipients of the United Nations ‘Momentum for Change’ Climate Solutions Award. The winners underline how Global Climate Action, in support of governments’ national plans, is accelerating two years after the Paris Agreement was universally adopted.

Representatives from the following three winning activities spoke about their innovative solutions at a special event in Berlin, Germany, on October 12:

  • A women-led, eco-fashion business that addresses climate change by recycling fabric waste to produce clothing collections, while providing jobs for disadvantaged female workers;
  • A partnership between TerraCylce, SUEZ, and Procter & Gamble that removes plastic from beaches and uses it to create shampoo bottles made with 25% of the reclaimed beach plastic;
  • The leading British retailer Marks & Spencer, who implemented a sustainable strategy that allowed them to achieve carbon neutrality for worldwide operations in 2014.

Other winners include a financial corporation in South Africa that leveraged private-sector capital to develop and construct the world’s first large-scale concentrated solar power plant; a credit card company in South
Korea where users are rewarded with points when they act sustainably; and, an easy-to-use ICT tool to help farmers make climate-smart decisions in Colombia and Honduras. Further winners include the first winery in California to operate on 100% renewable energy, and a company that brings solar energy to remote medical centers in Africa, which in turn helps save lives during childbirth.

The Momentum for Change initiative, spearheaded by the UN Climate Change secretariat, shines light on some of the most innovative, scalable and practical examples of what people across the globe are doing to
combat climate change. Selected initiatives, called ‘Lighthouse Activities,’ demonstrate the unprecedented amount of climate action happening around the world. 

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said: “I want to congratulate this year’s award winners. Their passion, creativity and positive impacts on the ground are extraordinary, real-world examples of how the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the wider SDGs is happening at all scales, across all countries and across all sectors of society.

“We know that to meet our shared goals, ambition needs to be raised over the years and decades to come. These Lighthouse Activities provide direct inspiration to others—from developed and developing countries
alike—to be agents of change that can catalyze communities and countries go further, faster, together,” she added.

The 19 winning activities fall within one of Momentum for Change’s five focus areas: Women for Results, Financing for Climate Friendly Investment, ICT Solutions, Planetary Health, and Climate Neutral Now. All
19 activities will be showcased at a series of special events during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany (6 November to 17 November 2017).

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