Christiana Figueres
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Christiana Figueres was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change secretariat (UNFCCC) between 2010 and 2016. She is currently a candidate in the race to become the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

At the UNFCCC she was responsible for driving forwards the annual UN climate change conferences, which eventually lead to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change -- the most ambitious climate agreement in history.

Entries by Christiana Figueres

Turning Points in Finance

(0) Comments | Posted 6 November 2015 | (12:07)

There is no doubt that significant transformation in the finance sector is paramount to a global warming that stays safely under 2 degrees Celsius. This transformation needs to be both orderly and effective. Fortunately it is well underway and while it is mainly invisible to most people, the scale and...

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This Is the Turning Point

(0) Comments | Posted 30 October 2015 | (16:30)

Change is created by turning points. Whether through evolution or revolution, turning points in history have changed the way we think, move, communicate, live.

We are at a turning point now. A decisive hour when a historical event occurs, when a decision must be made, when we have understood that...

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Let's Go Climate Neutral Now!

(1) Comments | Posted 29 September 2015 | (10:18)

If I were a magician I would, like a character in a JK Rowling novel, wave a wand and cut everyone's emissions to zero--or near zero as possible--overnight.

But I am not: which is why I am working tirelessly with countries, cities and companies on a new universal climate agreement...

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Our Common Future Conference Needs Long-Term Vision

(1) Comments | Posted 7 July 2015 | (08:57)


By Christiana Figueres and Joseph Alcamo

Over the past 12 months the number of countries signaling support for a long term vision on climate change has risen dramatically - this is an exciting development indeed.

Many now recognize that our best bet for...

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The Success of COP21 Also Depends on Businesses

(0) Comments | Posted 19 May 2015 | (13:26)

By Laurent Fabius and Christiana Figueres

This week, major business leaders will gather in Paris for the Business and Climate Summit. This meeting is being held around six months before the Paris Climate Conference, COP21, the aim of which is well known: to reach a universal agreement limiting the rise...

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A Paris Climate Agreement - Africa's Opportunity for a Sustainable Century

(0) Comments | Posted 9 April 2015 | (12:28)

Traditional investment means first taking a risk to reap a reward later. The beauty of climate action is that the reward comes first and future risk is reduced.

This can be especially true in Africa where ministers meet in mid-April for a special high-level event of the

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Climate Action in 2015: The Year of Transformational Change

(0) Comments | Posted 26 February 2015 | (13:02)


This year is shaping up to be an historic one for the future of our planet.

Never before has the need to address climate change been so urgent. But never before has the response gathered so much momentum.

I will never forget being...

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Four Conclusions from Davos

(0) Comments | Posted 26 January 2015 | (17:00)

With promising milestones on the horizon for climate change and the development agenda this year, much of the discussion among public and private sector leaders at the World Economic Forum 2015 Annual Meeting focused on the role of energy in transforming our growth model. Four days in Davos lead me...

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Recognizing On-the-Ground Climate Solutions: Lighthouse Activity Awards

(0) Comments | Posted 26 November 2014 | (12:04)


As governments across the world prepare to arrive in Lima, Peru, to advance international cooperative climate action I would like to highlight the transformative power of entrepreneurial citizens and communities across the globe.

Today I have the honour to present to you the...

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UNFCCC Teams Up With Ian Somerhalder to Produce Climate Action Documentary

(1) Comments | Posted 26 September 2014 | (16:12)

Where there was once a dearth of good news on climate change, there is now a deluge. Not that I'm complaining! In fact, I'm pleased to add some of my own good news to the ever-lengthening list: this week the United Nations Climate Change secretariat released a new documentary that showcases inspiring stories of climate action.

The documentary, Climate Heroes: Stories of Change, takes the viewer on a trip around the world to see on-the-ground action on climate change, in communities large and small. The documentary is narrated by Ian Somerhalder, an actor best known for his work on the international hit TV series The Vampire Diaries and on the critically acclaimed drama Lost. Mr. Somerhalder is also a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador who is passionate about tackling climate change.

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Ian Somerhalder narrates Climate Heroes: Stories of Change

The documentary couldn't come at a more opportune time. I'm writing this from New York City, where the growing global appetite for real action on climate change is on full display. These past few days have been nothing less than a climate love-in - the likes of which the world has never seen before.

Hundreds of thousands of people in New York, and cities like Berlin, London and Rio, marched in the streets over the weekend to call for a cleaner, greener world, hundreds of climate-themed events and activities are taking place across New York, and dozens of leaders from business and government announced bold new pledges at the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday.

With Marshall Islands President C. Loeak and my daughters Naima and Yihana at Peoples Climate March in New York

Climate Heroes: Stories of Change amplifies the positive messages coming out of New York City.

"Action on climate change is not some far-off event," Ian explains in the film's opening minutes. "There is an enormous groundswell of action already underway to fight climate change. It's happening right now, all over the world."

Not only is this action helping the climate, it is creating green jobs, inspiring entrepreneurship and improving lives at the same time. The stories in our documentary are inspirational examples that can be replicated elsewhere, increasing the overall level of ambition towards reaching an international agreement on climate change.

The documentary was produced by our Momentum for Change initiative, which shines light on some of the best examples of climate solutions - to inspire increased climate action around the world. Momentum for Change is distributing the documentary to public TV stations globally, free of charge.

The nine stories of climate action featured in the film are:

• India: Pollinate Energy, bringing solar energy to Bangalore's slums while creating green jobs
• Ghana: Bamboo Bikes Initiative, women leading on climate change by building high-quality bamboo bicycles
• Australia: 1 Million Women, building a movement to get one million women to take small steps in their everyday lives to cut pollution and lead change
• Bangladesh: Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction, a women-centered initiative to address extreme weather conditions in vulnerable communities
• Kenya: The BOMA Project, enabling vulnerable women to adapt to climate change by building small businesses
• Ghana: Recnowa Initiative, empowering disadvantaged people to turn recyclable waste into a low-carbon business opportunity
• Mexico: EcoCasa, unlocking financing to build low-carbon housing and increase the number of green mortgages
• Philippines: Sustainable Energy Finance Program, an innovative financing scheme to bolster resources needed to address climate change
• China: China CDM Fund, supporting low-carbon growth and climate resilience through levies on clean development mechanism projects

Each of the stories featured in the film was also a 2013 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity winner. In November, we'll showcase a new round of climate change success stories when the 2014 Lighthouse Activities are announced. It's my belief that sharing these stories helps raise ambition and scale up the global commitment to act on climate change.

All these stories feature different people in different circumstances. But they all share the same goal: to build a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Help us create that future by downloading, watching and sharing Climate Heroes: Stories of Change here:

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Shining a Light on Transformational Climate Action in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted 31 March 2014 | (15:03)

The Guangzhou bus rapid transit system in China,
one of the largest integrated bus rapid transit systems in the world

One of the questions I struggle with on a daily basis as Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC is this: how...

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Why Davos Has Left Me With the Feeling That 2014 Is the Year the World Can and Must Rise to the Climate Challenge

(1) Comments | Posted 27 January 2014 | (16:24)

The mood, ambition and announcements at the World Economic Forum in Davos has left me feeling more energized and confident than ever that 2014 will be the year when the world can and must come together to meet the growing challenge of climate change and seize the opportunities manifest in...

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Why COP 19 Rocked

(0) Comments | Posted 12 December 2013 | (08:13)

Present global ambition to fight climate change is thoroughly insufficient and much remains to be done. However, the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw (COP 19) was a meeting that broke new ground, and we should not lose sight of what this meeting helped demonstrate to negotiators and the world....

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Momentum for Change: How a Groundswell for Climate Action Is Building

(0) Comments | Posted 13 November 2013 | (08:38)

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the enormous groundswell of activities underway across the world designed to address climate change.

They are driven by thousands of people, often in partnership with business, governments and industry, to provide climate change solutions for their cities and...

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