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These pages and sections capture news of climate change and stories about the groundswell of climate action by governments, companies, cities, the UN and civil society around the globe. To provide feedback, email us at press@unfccc.int Photo©Naziha Mestaoui

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Showcasing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

The UNFCCC’s Climate Action Fair boosted momentum to drive renewable energies off the drawing board and on to the ground where they are urgently needed to address climate change, underlining the rapidly rising groundswell of action and the need for governments to help drive that success further and faster forward.

Leaders from business, politics and intergovernmental organizations spoke face-to-face about renewable energy and energy efficiency during a series of lunchtime dialogues and side events during the fair, which ran from 3-6 June at the Bonn Climate Change Conference.

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A bird's eye view of the Climate Action Fair Dialogue Series, held daily from 3-6 June

Driving Innovation and Transformational Change

The key message that emerged from the fair is that business and city leaders are driving innovation and transformational change. In addition, the fair highlighted three mega-trends currently driving climate action: 1. the decreasing cost of green technology; 2. the increasing cost of conventional energy; and 3. the emergence of carbon policies that put constraints on greenhouse gas emissions.

Steve Howard, IKEA’s Chief Sustainability Officer, was one of the key players who spoke at the dialogue series. He came to the Climate Action Fair with a major announcement – that the company plans to spend 1 billion euros on renewable energy and steps to help poor nations cope with climate change.

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Kgosientsho 'Sputla' Ramokgopa, Mayor of Tshwane, South Africa, and Steve Howard, IKEA’s Chief Sustainability Officer

Cities are also at the forefront of climate action. Jürgen Nimptsch, Mayor of Bonn, Germany, said his city will reduce carbon emissions 20% by 2020. Kgosientsho 'Sputla' Ramokgopa, Mayor of Tshwane, South Africa, said all cities must become low-carbon, resource-efficient and climate resilient.

An event organized by Galvanizing the Groundswell of Climate Actions and the German Development Institute focused on galvanizing the groundswell of climate action for success at Paris and beyond. 

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UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres: climate action is the new normal

Speaking at the Groundswell event, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres underscored that climate action is the new normal. "We'll witness global peaking of CO2," she said. "And we'll witness climate neutrality."

When asked what happens to climate action after the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year, Veronique Massenet from France's COP21 team said, "we're looking for it to become a takeoff rather than a landing."

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Veronique Massenet (France) and Romulo Acurio (Peru)

In addition to the lunchtime dialogue series, the Climate Action Fair included side events, exhibits, a networking reception and the Climate Action Fair Virtual Expo. The fair supported the work and discussions that took place under the technical expert meetings, as well as increased the visibility of the climate action among cities, regions, companies, investors and international cooperative initiatives.

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 One of the posters on display at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn

Climate Action Shows What's Possible

At a side event organized by the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change initiative, major players in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency showcased how their solutions are driving down emissions, creating jobs and leading the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Four previous Lighthouse Activity winners, Solar Power Company Group, RedaviaEarth Roofs in the Sahel Program and Lighten the Energy Bill, travelled to Bonn to showcase their renewable energy solutions. Participants heard that not only are these initiatives addressing climate change, but they are also generating green jobs. Solar Power Company Group, for example, hired 20,000 people during construction of its 36 solar plants in Thailand.

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Wandee Khunchornyakong, CEO and Founder of Solar Power Company Group, Cecilia Rinaudo, Director of Development with Earth Roofs in the Sahel Program, Luis Davila, Momentum for Change Team Lead, Xavier Verbeken, Business Development Manager with Lighten the Energy Bill and Elisabeth Schallhart, Sales and Marketing Manager with Redavia


Speaking at the event, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said the pioneering work by these clean energy leaders “seeds the soil” for deeper, faster climate action.

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UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres speaking at the Momentum for Change event

Bringing the Message Beyond the Conference

In collaboration with We Mean Business, ICLEI and C40, the secretariat set up advertisements in key locations throughout Bonn. Exhibits and posters showcasing climate solutions by non-state actors are still on display across the city and at the World Conference Centre.

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UNFCCC Spokesperson Nick Nuttall and Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres pose with one of the ads in Bonn

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