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UNFCCC Launches Momentum for Change Initiative

6 December 2011: The UNFCCC Secretariat has launched the “Momentum for Change” Initiative, which aims to enhance the visibility of climate change adaptation or mitigation projects that have been successful in improving the quality of the life of the people they benefit and have a potential to be replicated and scaled up. 

Under the Initiative, which was launched on 6 December 2011, during the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC, the Secretariat will create a series of platforms to recognize and encourage these “Lighthouse Projects,” which are "beacons of opportunity," pointing the direction towards fulfilling the objectives of the Convention.

The first platform of the series is created in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and focuses on successful and effective private-public partnerships, in particular those that benefit the urban poor in developing countries. The Initiative will work closely with partners who are spearheading mitigation and adaptation efforts on the ground. Partners, chosen for their suitability, will include UN agencies, relevant organizations active at the national, sub-national or regional level, as well as private sector companies and constituencies through which private sector companies are represented.

The launch event in Durban was moderated by Lord Nicholas Stern and opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. Speaking at the launch, Ban called for a momentum that guides everyone to change the planet "in a more hospitable and environmentally sustainable way." Noting that the title, “Momentum for Change,” gives some inspiration, he warned against losing this momentum. He further highlighted that climate change is a global challenge that requires global solidarity, called for “action on the ground,” and underlined that everyone has the power and responsibility to make a difference. [Momentum for Change Website] [UN Secretary-General's Statement]