Meet the 2018 Climate and Clean Air Award Finalists Announced

by CCAC secretariat - 24 August, 2018
There are 15 finalists for this years awards

Around the world individuals, organizations and governments are working hard to reduce short-lived climate pollutants through actions, innovations and policies that not only protect our climate but also provide numerous additional benefits.

Every year the Climate and Clean Coalition recognizes these efforts, and is proud to announce the finalists for the 2018 Climate and Clean Air Awards.

This year there were 85 nominations, an overwhelming response to the awards. From this list 15 finalists were chosen. These ‘fast action heroes’ are involved in a wide range of activities and actions that include everything from individual efforts to state and national policies.

Helena Molin Valdes, Head of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat said: “The work of these extraordinary people is helping us increase our knowledge, transform attitudes, spark innovation, provide business opportunities, and improve lives and livelihoods. They exemplify what climate action looks like.”

The Climate and Clean Air Awards recognize the exceptional contributions and actions taken to implement projects, programmes, policies and practices to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (also known as super pollutants) – black carbon, methane, hydrofluorocarbons and tropospheric ozone.

These four pollutants contribute about 40% of the manmade heat energy being added to the planet every year. Reducing emissions of methane, black carbon, and HFCs can help reduce predicted global warming by as much as 0.6 degrees Celsius (⁰C) by 2050, and are necessary to achieve the global goal to limit warming to 1.5 ⁰C.

Reducing super pollutants also has additional benefits for health, ecosystems and livelihoods. Implementing reduction measures can prevent up 2.5 million premature deaths from air pollution, avoid up to 52 million tonnes of crop losses every year, and contribute to the sustainable development goals.   

Award Ceremony

This year’s award ceremony is part of Super Pollutant Day, an event affiliated with the Global Climate Action Summit, in San Francisco, USA. The ceremony will be held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, from 16:30 to 18:00 on September 11, 2018.

Super Pollutant day will feature two high level panels that precede the awards show. Members of the public and media can register for the event by clicking on the button below.

The People’s Choice Award

Everyone can get involved in picking the recipient of this year’s People Choice Award. The rules are simple: click on the button below to go to the online voting page and cast your votes by selecting your favourite person or initiative in each category. There’s only one vote per person, per category.

Online voting for the 2018 People’s Choice Award is open from 23 August to 8 September.

The person or initiative with the most votes will be announced at the awards ceremony at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on September 11.

Meet the 2018 Finalists

The 2018 Climate and Clean Air Awards were presented in three categories: Individual, Innovation, and Policy Change. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat created a long list from the 85 nominees. This was sent to the Coalition’s Steering Committee who chose the finalists. An independent jury will decide the final awardees.

Click on the links below for more information on individual finalists.

Individual Category

  • Leonardo DiCaprio: For his dedication to supporting urgent climate action through personal activism and the initiatives of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Over the past two decades, environmentalist, philanthropist, and actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, has lent his platform and voice to our planet, advocating for the urgency and need to act fast to fight the greatest threat facing humanity: climate change.
  • Hal Harvey: For transforming philanthropic investment in climate action and promoting practical, results-driven solutions.  A strategist, environmentalist, and philanthropist Hal Harvey has dedicated his career over the last three decades to advocate for adequate funding to act fast and at scale to fight climate change.
  • Minister Catherine McKenna: For introducing short-lived climate pollutant policy in Canada and rallying support to lead the Kigali Amendment into force. Under Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna’s, leadership, Canada has become a global leader in reducing short-lived climate pollutant (SLCPs) emissions both domestically and through international efforts.
  • Dr Mario Molina: For galvanizing international policy action on climate change and air quality through his research on the impacts of short-lived climate pollutants. Dr. Molina’s scientific discoveries, has helped shape national and environmental policy, and as a result, has largely contributed to the short and long-term wellbeing of all humanity.
  • Distinguished Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan: For pioneering scientific work on short-lived climate pollutants and advocating urgent action on global warming and air pollution. Professor Ramanathan’s contributions to the understanding of the role and the magnitude of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) have been fundamental to the way we understand and now address climate change.
  • Minister Xie Zhenhua: For stewarding climate and clean air policy in China and playing a key role in leading the Paris Agreement’s entry into force. Minister Xie’s leadership to combat climate change and clean China’s air place him among the world’s most influential champions in the fight against climate change.

Innovation category

  • Cold Hubs Ltd: For providing affordable cold storage to smallholder farmers in Africa through solar powered, HFC-free refrigeration units. Cold hubs has developed solar powered walk-in cold rooms installed outdoors in marketplaces and farm clusters, to store and preserve fruits, vegetables and other perishable foods and extend their shelf life from 2 days to 21 days.
  • Envirofit: For helping households in Kenya and Ghana access clean cooking fuel using mobile 'Pay-As-You-Cook' technology. Envirofit is working to make cleaner household energy technologies more affordable and accessible for people living in extreme energy poverty.
  • Petroamazonas: For reducing methane emissions from gas flaring with power generation facilities that generate electricity from gas that would otherwise be flared. The company is working with Ecuador’s government to generate power in an environmentally sustainable way in the Amazonian region.
  • RDRS Bangladesh: For promoting alternate rice farming practices that reduce methane emissions and support the wellbeing of local farmers. Cultivating rice using the alternate wetting and drying method, also helps increase climate resilience for farmers in areas like Bangladesh’s Rangpur Division, which is vulnerable droughts and increasing water scarcity.
  • SimGas: For producing safe cooking fuel and reducing short-lived climate pollutant emissions with domestic biogas digesters. SimGas is helping farmers produce a 100% clean cooking fuel generated by digesting cow manure, helping to reduce methane emissions and reducing indoor air pollution.
  • Three Wheels United: For providing affordable finance for smart, electric auto rickshaws and integrating them with public transportation infrastructure. Three Wheels United  helps drivers by offering alternate credit rating mechanisms to lend to this market.

Policy Change Category

  • China Diesel Emissions Standards: For putting in place mandatory national vehicle standards to drastically reduce particulate matter and black carbon emissions. As a result of China’s action two-thirds of all new heavy-duty vehicles globally will be soot-free in 2021.
  • Pune Waste Management Program: For innovative waste management solutions that reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions and improve livelihoods. The municipal policy and implementation shows how climate mitigation can generate economic opportunities for informal sector workers that are highly replicable in other cities.  
  • Santiago City Euro VI Bus Standards: For being the first to commit to soot-free technology for fine particulate (PM2.5) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission reductions in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The new standard will reduce NOx and PM2.5 emissions by 67%, by 2025 compared to business-as-usual.