UN Climate Change secretariat selects latest round of “Lighthouse Activities”

Clare Saxon Ghauri
7 November 2012

GERMANY:  As part of its Momentum for Change Initiative the United Nations Climate Change secretariat has this week begun presenting the latest round of public-private “lighthouse activities” in developing countries which either help to curb greenhouse gas emissions or help people adapt to climate change, while at the same time benefit the urban poor.

The nine activities will be showcased at special events at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha (26 November to 7 December), and can already be viewed on the UNFCCC website. The activities include the promotion of electric buses and rickshaws in Sri Lanka, energy efficient brick kilns in Peru and a project to support to the work of clean energy entrepreneurs in Uganda.  

Last year at COP 17 The Climate Group’s 1,000 Village initiative in Guiyang was included as one of the Lighthouse Projects and Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group is now a Momentum for Change Advisory Panel Member. He said: “To accelerate the transition to the low carbon economy two essential ingredients are needed; innovation and leadership. The Momentum for Change Initiative gives a platform to the most pioneering public-private partnerships and we are delighted to be supporting it.”

“We are very excited to showcase this year’s lighthouse activities as they demonstrate the commitment by communities, civil society organizations, local governments and private businesses to take concrete action to address climate change. The examples are inspiring and encouraging, not least for governments who have already set the course towards greater climate resilience, but who need to take the next essential steps to galvanize the speed and scope of climate action,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres

Two key criteria for the selection of the initiatives are that they have proven to be effective and have the potential to be replicated in other countries and communities. They were selected by an international advisory panel as part of the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change Initiative, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The nine lighthouse activities are:

  • Solar Sister, a door-to-door green energy social enterprise in Uganda; 
  • The Ahmedabad bus rapid transit system in India, which created an integrated and accessible public transport system;
  • BioComp Nepal, who along with non-profit foundation myclimate have developed a waste reduction project involving composting organic waste in Nepal;
  • Energy efficiency in artisanal brick kilns in Latin America (EELA) in Peru, which promotes cleaner-burning artisanal brick kilns, developed with myclimate;
  • Lifestraw Carbon For Water in Kenya, which uses carbon financing to fund household level water purification; 
  • Adaptation to coastal erosion in vulnerable areas, an Adaptation Fund-supported activity in Senegal that fights coastal erosion, hosted by the Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE), GREEN Senegal, Dynamique Femmes and Direction de l’Environnement et des Establissements Classes; 
  • Lanka Electric Vehicle Association in Sri Lanka, who have piloted the use of electric buses and rickshaws in Colombo with assistance from the UN Development Programme (UNDP); 
  • Holistic approaches to community adaptation to climate change, a Namibia-based activity from Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions, Ergonomidesign and UNDP, that uses a six-point method to assist local communities in adapting to climate change; 
  • Guangzhou bus rapid transit system in China, one of the largest integrated bus rapid transit systems in the world.

Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to interact with the activity partners in two social media discussions ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha. The first is scheduled to take place on 14 November and the second event is scheduled to takes place a week later, on 21 November. Participants can join in via Twitter using the hashtag #m4c2012.

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