The recipients of the 2020 United Nations Global Climate Action Awards were announced yesterday, shining a light on some of the best examples of what people across the globe are doing to combat climate change in a year that has cast darkness upon so many. The 2020 winners of the UN Global Climate Action Award in the category Climate Neutral Now are the companies Interface, Signify, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort.
“The last eight months have been a nightmare for many throughout the world,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. “COVID-19 has altered lives, economies and the nature of business on every continent—from the largest cities to the smallest villages. It is the most urgent threat facing humanity today, but we cannot forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term.”
“The convergence of these two crises has opened a window of opportunity to build forward—to build cities and communities that are safe, healthy, green and sustainable,” Ms. Espinosa added. “Nothing exemplifies this better than the efforts of our 2020 award-winning activities to address climate change.”
This year’s award-winning projects demonstrate leadership on climate change by nations, businesses, investors, cities, regions and civil society as a whole. They range from the Caribbean’s only carbon-neutral hotel, to the world’s first platform fully dedicated to green bonds, to the first all-women solar team in Lebanon.
“I congratulate the winners of the 2020 UN Global Climate Action Awards, who provide tangible proof that climate action is under way around the world,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “It is exciting to see these climate solutions, which reinforce my call for decisive leadership on climate change by governments, businesses and cities, and for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us keep pressing ahead to build a more sustainable and equitable future for all.”
The awards announcement is part of the wider effort to mobilize action and ambition as national governments work toward implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. It also sets the stage for two upcoming events in the climate change calendar: the Race To Zero Dialogues from 9-19 Nov, which will serve as critical input to the UNFCCC Climate Dialogues from 23 Nov to 4 Dec, which are advancing work governing the rules of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The UN Global Climate Action Awards are spearheaded by the Momentum for Change initiative at UN Climate Change. The projects are recognized as innovative solutions that not only address climate change, but also help drive forward progress on many other sustainable development goals, for example, innovation, gender equality and economic opportunity. The 2020 winning activities were selected by an international Advisory Panel as part of the UN Climate Change’s Momentum for Change initiative.
“It is crucial we celebrate all actors who are leading the way,” said Gabrielle Ginér, Chair of the Advisory Panel. “The recipients of the UN Global Climate Action Awards send a strong political signal to all nations – and through their leadership and creativity, we see essential change.”
The 2020 winners of the UN Global Climate Action Award in the category Climate Neutral Now are:
- Interface | Global: A pioneering flooring-manufacturer that is transforming its business to have zero negative impact on the planet.
- Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort | Aruba: The Caribbean’s first – and only – hotel to achieve carbon neutral certification, and now working to go carbon negative.
- Signify | Global: A major multi-national lighting company that has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 70% and has transformed all of its global markets to carbon neutrality.
- Dallas Fort Worth International Airport | United States of America: The first carbon neutral airport in North America, now implementing a Renewable Natural Gas Initiative.