Momentum for Change

by Cristina Tirado, December 10, 2011

The Momentum for Change Initiative launch was one of the most interesting, down to earth events at the COP17 in Durban. The UN’s Momentum for Change highlights innovative, replicable, on-the-ground projects that help to mitigate or adapt to climate change, while directly benefiting people.  Momentum for Change will identify and promote these “beacons of opportunity, pointing the direction towards fulfilling the objectives of the [UNFCCC] Convention.”

The event offered an excellent opportunity to learn about international efforts and partnerships to address the challenges of climate change for water, food and energy security and health, including presentation of several projects of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

The participants at the Momentum for a Change Initiative highlighted the key role women can and should play to address these issues. The president of the COP17 Maite Nkoana-Mashabane remarked at the event, “If you want pre-feasibility studies and project proposals, given them to men; if you want action give them to women.”

UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon stressed that we need to tackle climate change, food security, nutrition, and global health issues, and that women are key to addressing these in the right way. It made us wonder if Ban-ki Moon had read PHI’s brief, “Enhancing women’s leadership to address the challenges of climate change on nutrition security and health”!

We shared this brief with the executive secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres, with the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra Pachauri, and with COP17 President Maite Nkoana-Mashabane  in Durban. It is encouraging to see these critical issues highlighted at the launch of this promising, change-oriented UN initiative. Thanks Christiana for your interest on these critical issues, and we wish for the best in ongoing climate negotiations.

A climate deal will be a health deal.

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