For the past nine years, UN Climate Change’s Momentum for Change initiative has been shining a light on global climate action by citizens, organizations, businesses and governments. Each year, we recognize some of the most innovative and impactful action happening throughout the world. We refer to these as “Lighthouse Activities” and the Momentum for Change 2018 Annual Report highlights 15 such activities and projects.
We must remember, however, that lighthouses do more than shine a light—they also act as beacons. They help those who have strayed off course find their way to safety. Currently, the world finds itself in a perfect storm when it comes to climate change. Extreme weather events are getting worse, emissions continue to rise and it’s clear that if we’re to achieve our climate change goals, we must raise our collective climate ambition.
While we have the Paris Agreement as our guide, and nations and businesses promising to work together to keep us moving forward, it’s valuable to have examples of results-driven, practical climate action throughout the world. While many people understand the why when it comes to boosting climate action, they need clear examples of how.
That’s why Momentum for Change is so important. It provides both why and how. It’s a fundamental recognition that while each Lighthouse Activity may be unique with respect to form, function and delivery, the development and execution of each project can provide valuable lessons for others. In other words, the journey becomes as beneficial as the destination.
Our Lighthouse Activities are a significant part of our wider UN Climate Change efforts to mobilize action and ambition in support of national and international climate goals. The 15 Lighthouse Activity winners for 2018 serve as real-world reminders that climate action is not just possible—it’s the path we must get on to achieve the goals laid out in Paris.
I’d like to thank all those currently taking action in their communities, in their businesses, and in their personal lives. I also encourage everyone to keep boosting their individual climate action—never have we needed it more.
Finally, to all Lighthouse Activity applicants—winners and non—I thank you for being beacons guiding us towards a more resilient, more sustainable and more prosperous future for all.
I hope you find the Momentum for Change 2018 Annual Report as inspirational as I do.