This September, thousands of global leaders from businesses, civil society, government, the art community, and more, will come together in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit. Why?
To achieve the goals of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement and stop runaway climate change, we need bold action. That requires innovative solutions across every sector and at every level – from sustainable agriculture in local communities to major investments in renewable energy.
As the impacts of climate change become starkly apparent, we must also focus on the many transformative solutions already underway. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has urged swift climate action, saying, “Let’s join a race to the top, a race where there are only winners.”
To spotlight these stories and inspire action, the UN Foundation is encouraging photographers and Instagram users everywhere to join the global #EyeOnClimate Instagram campaign in the lead up to the Summit.
Here are six inspiring climate solutions we’ve seen so far:
1. Sustainable Cocoa Farming in Cameroon
In Cameroon, photographer John Novis documents the Konye Area Farmers Cooperative, a community group that sustainably farms cocoa and helps regrow forests decimated by logging. This solution benefits both people and planet: boosting the communities’ livelihoods and local economy, while protecting biodiversity and mitigating climate change.⠀
2. Safeguarding Coral Reefs in Indonesia
Raja Ampat’s coral reefs are a hotspot for marine biodiversity, containing 75% of the world’s known coral species. Unlike most coral reefs, these reefs have shown unusual resilience to changes in ocean temperature.
As Emmy-winning cinematographer and conservationist Shawn Heinrichs explains in his post, safeguarding these coral reefs will be vital to sustaining species and livelihoods in the region as ocean temperatures warm.
3. Sustainable Energy Access in Tanzania
Globally, nearly 1 billion people lack access to sustainable energy. In Tanzania, photographer Marco Garofalo sees the transformative impact of off-grid solar systems through the Maasai family.
Since the national grid can’t reach their village, electricity in the ‘boma’ (small hut) is supplied by a PV panel and Mobisol system, which charges three mobile phones, two radios, and one rechargeable torch. The phones allow the family to stay in contact as they search for places to graze their cattle. Moreover, sustainable energy systems like this produce no emissions.
4. Women Leading Conservation in Kenya
Conservation photographer Ami Vitale captures the story of Mary Lengee, one of the first indigenous Samburu women elephant keepers in all of Africa at the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary.
African elephants are vulnerable to climate change for a number of reasons, including fewer water and food resources from drought. By giving women the equal opportunity to work, they can lead in protecting biodiversity and addressing threats from climate change.
5. Accelerating Wind Energy in Ireland
Ireland became the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels. In his #EyeOnClimate photo, photographer Keith Arkins documents a stunning sunrise on one of Ireland’s 346 wind farms. The site produces enough energy to power 15,500 homes.
Although the country has more work to do to reach its 2020 energy targets, there is a strong push toward implementing both solar and off-shore wind energy into the energy mix.
6.Stopping Deforestation in the Amazon
National Geographic photographer Cristina Mittermeier reveals why the voices of indigenous peoples must be heard in decisions about climate.
The Kayapo people, who live across 46 villages in the southeastern Amazon region of Brazil, have protected over 10 million hectares of rainforests and savannahs. By stopping deforestation, communities like the Kayapo can sustain resources at the local level and help sequester carbon emissions at the global level.
Want more climate change solutions? Follow @UNFoundation on Instagram and view the Global Feed at eyeonclimate.org to see posts from around the world.
Join the campaign by sharing a photo or video documenting climate action using the hashtag, #EyeOnClimate, on Instagram.