November 1, 2010
United Nations Environment Programme
Nairobi, Kenya - What do solar loans, sustainable tourism, tea plantations, forests in Panama and African financiers have in common?
The answer is quite simple: all are part of the global solution to climate change, and part of the United Nation's Environment Programme's "30 ways in 30 Days" initiative, launched today.
From today, a month out from the start of the UN Climate Convention meeting in Cancun, Mexico, UNEP will release online case studies to show that solutions to climate change are available and can be copied and scaled up around the world. The examples are just the tip of the iceberg and highlights in terms of existing successful climate initiatives and programmes.
UNEP's aim is to show that across the world, in myriad ways, from community-based programmes to entrepreneurial endeavours, solutions are available to help confront the challenges of climate change and to help countries, communities and businesses move towards low-emission climate-resilient growth.
More could be done if governments, corporations and communities scaled up this work. Every country and many institutions have their own 30 success stories to demonstrate that action is being taken across the globe, initiatives that with funding and technology support can be scaled up dramatically.
One of the case studies featured is "Solar Loans for Solar Homes" in India where more than 60 per cent of Indian households have no access to reliable electricity supplies and depend on kerosene for light and on burning dung and wood for heat.
UNEP's Solar Loan Programme, a partnership involving the UN Foundation, Shell Foundation and two of India's largest banking groups, helped turn on lights in homes that had previously not had them, accelerated market penetration of solar lights in the Indian countryside, and inspired several similar initiatives in India and elsewhere.
Other stories coming up are the "Green Passports" for sustainable tourism projects showing how you can be a "green traveler", the "greening" of tea plantations in East Africa, carbon financing in Africa and its massive potential for sustainable development and successful reforestation in Panama giving new evidence of the many opportunities and benefits from sustainable forests.
To find out more about these innovative programmes, go to www.unep.org/unite/30ways today. Come back to the site once a day until into December to discover all 30 ways in which UNEP is working with governments and communities around the world on projects, big and small, that put together could save our climate.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16/CMP6) will be held from 29 November to 10 December in Cancun, Mexico.