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UNFCCC to Showcase “Lighthouse Projects” in Developing Countries

UNFCCC to Showcase "Lighthouse Projects" in Developing Countries (photo courtesy of the UNFCCC Secretariat)22 November 2011: The UNFCCC Secretariat will launch a new initiative called “Momentum for Change” at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. The aim of the initiative is to highlight projects in developing countries that help put the world on a more climate-resilient and low-carbon path while also improving peoples' lives.

For projects to be selected they should contribute towards fighting poverty, have the possibility of being replicated in other countries and also have the potential to be scaled up. The first series of these "lighthouse projects" focuses on effective public-private partnerships that benefit the world's poorest citizens. Examples of projects that will be showcased include: retrieval of valuable drinking water from mining activities; distribution of clean cook stoves in Africa; micro-insurance for farmers against crop failure resulting from droughts and floods in the Horn of Africa; and the use of solar bottle lights for illuminating homes in the Philippines.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres noted that "People in developing countries are more willing to take action on climate change when they are at the same time able to reduce poverty." The first phase of the Momentum for Change Initiative, focusing on least developed countries in Africa, is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The launch event will take place on 6 December in Durban during the conference and will be attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and South African President Jacob Zuma. Similar showcase events are to be held at UN climate change conferences over the next three years. [UNFCCC Press release] [Momentum for Change Initiative webpage]