Climate Solver South Africa is Born!

South Africa follows Sweden, China and India to become the fourth country in the world to launch the Climate Solver program. According to Louise Scholtz at WWF, South Africa has fared poorly on innovation indexes in the past, “We see the Climate Solvers programme as a great tool to support innovation in South Africa because it assists in identifying problems faced by entrepreneurs at the different stages of product development and entry to market.”

The South Africa Climate Solver awards will be presented in March 2014. The call for nominations of inspiring South African entrepreneurs is open at and the closing date for entries is 7 November. 

Congratulations South Africa and welcome onboard the Climte Solver train!

President Obama impressed by Climate Solver Solvatten

Presiden Obama congratulates Solvatten's Petra Wadström

During his recent visit to Sweden, President Barak Obama expressed great interest in Solvatten’s technology. The President took the opportunity to congratulate Solvatten on its innovation, and its potential to improve the lives of millions of people around the globe, “Congratulation on a wonderful achievement: it is a great story to tell”.

Safe, clean drinking water is a huge challenge for millions of people around the world. It is a sad fact, that almost 11% of the global population (783 million people) has no access to clean drinking water. The situation is so serious that the UN has categorized this problem in the millennium development goals (MDGs). Fortunately, the scenario is gradually improving due to technological innovation and proper attention by concerned parties. One such technological breakthrough has been offered by Swedish Climate Solver Solvatten, which is improving the daily lives of people across continents.

Solvatten is a well-designed container with a built-in filter that uses sunlight to transform unsafe water into drinking water. The basic science behind this procedure is that it uses heat and ultraviolet (UV) rays to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites, which spread diarrhea & other diseases. As a result, it produces optimum quality drinking water, which satisfies the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for safe water. In addition to a sunny place, which is a must for the device to operate, it requires 2 – 6 hours to transform unsafe water and produces 11- 44 liters of water/day.

Solvatten offers numerous socio-economic benefits including reducing deforestation, minimizing CO2 emissions, improving health, saving time for women and children by providing clean drinking water at home.

WWF selected Solvatten as a Climate Solver in 2009. For more information:

2013 Climate Solvers China launched in Hunan

29 Aug in Changsha the 2013 Climate Solvers China was launched. “SMEs are of great importance in developing and promoting climate innovations. Climate Solvers creates a platform for these enterprises to develop and promote their climate innovations, renewable energy in particular.” Lu Lunyan, programme director of C&E (Climate and Energy) in WWF China, said at today’s capacity building workshop on financing and development for low-carbon enterprises. WWF is seeking five Climate Solver-technologies in China this year.

The capacity building workshop in Changsha was jointly hosted by WWF and Hunan Innovative Low Carbon Center (HILCC), and marked the beginning of Climate Sovler 2013 selection in China. Over 70 representatives from Hunan Development and Reform Commission, local industrial parks, Climate Solver innovation partners, and nominated SME candidates participated in this workshop.

Initiated by WWF Sweden, Climate Solver aims to identify and introduce innovations with great emissions reduction potential. China, India, and South Africa have followed Sweden to participate in this project to promote climate innovation across the world. Four enterprises from Nanjing, Wuhan and Baoding were selected as the first batch of Climate Solvers in 2012.

“The Climate Solvers theme of this year is renewable energy. We will attach great importance to the production and utilization of renewable energy, and the technology for smart grids and energy storage.” Lu Lunyan claimed that EU`s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into China`s PV solar panels struck the industry with alarm. “China`s low-carbon industry should divert from depending on cheap production and export to innovation and market-oriented strategy. Climate Solvers aims to promote China`s low-carbon innovation and the development of enterprises with our endeavors.”

“SMEs can benefit from today`s capacity building workshop. They will be updated on the prospects of low-carbon industry, and strengthen their abilities to explore financing channels and transfer innovative technologies.” said Xu Yong, director of HILCC.

WWF will continue collaborating with industrial parks, financial institutions, and research centers to select Climate Solvers technologies according to several key criteria - emissions reduction potential, innovativeness, technology reliability, market potential, and supporting business strategy. SMEs in Hunan, Beijing, Wuhan, Baoding, Nanjing and Zhenjiang can apply after nominated by Climate Solver innovation partners. The 2013 Climate Solvers winners will be announced at an award ceremony in December.

"The renewable energy theme of Climate Solver awards across the world this year is part of a global call to financial institutions to Seize Your Power to invest much more resources in renewable energy while phasing out financial support for fossil coal, oil and gas." Adds Stefan Henningsson, Senior Adviser Climate Innovation at WWF International.    

Chinese press release:

The World Bank's coal ban is just a start

By Samantha Smith

For the last two decades, the global environmental movement has focused on an international climate agreement and emissions targets as the main way to avoid dangerous climate change.

Though there have been successes along the way, the UN climate negotiations are stuck: they are not delivering the change we need at anything like the speed at which we need it. Meanwhile, emissions continue to rise and the impacts of climate change continue to mount.

Clearly, we need a new approach. And WWF gave deep consideration to a new approach as we prepared to launch Seize Your Power, our global campaign on renewable energy in June this year.

Together with many other civil society organizations, we considered two things in finding a new approach to tackling climate change. First, we asked what we could do that would give the biggest change in emissions in the shortest period of time?

And second, we asked how could we break up this narrative of deadlock and frozen national and international politics, and engage people more directly in positive change?

Empowering communities

We decided to focus on renewable energy, for the following reasons. Energy is key to development and to powering the lives people aspire to live. But over the last few years, the energy sector has emerged as the main culprit – as well as the main solution – for global climate change.

Most climate-changing pollution now comes from burning fossil fuels. Extraction of fossil fuels is also increasingly a driver for direct loss of biodiversity. At the same time, renewable energy provides a straightforward, proven and increasingly affordable solution, with far fewer direct impacts.

Getting a future where our economies are powered by renewable energy is within reach.

A world shift to renewable energy is more possible now than it was just five years ago. New renewable energy electricity investments surpassed oil, coal and gas for the first time in history.

Solar power is quickly becoming competitive with coal in parts of India, while new wind power is cheaper than coal in Australia. Economies around the world have committed to 100% renewable energy.

Closing door

However, time is very short.

Large amounts of money are being invested in energy now, and those investments will be with us for twenty to fifty years. If those investments go to renewable energy, we can avoid dangerous climate change. If they go to fossil fuels, we are cooked.

To ensure that enough money goes to renewable energy, and not to fossil fuels, all analysts agree that institutional investors and international finance institutions are key. Their investments attract and drive much bigger amounts from other smaller and shorter-term investors.

So the news from the World Bank this week that they have adopted a policy that will limit funding of coal power plants to “only rare circumstances” begins to define the new approach we believe is necessary to combat runaway climate change.

As Justin Guay, leader of the Sierra Club’s international climate programme told ClimateWire this week, the World Bank move “starts an inevitable process of closing the door for good on coal finance from international public sources”.

We believe that this approach should immediately become the norm for all international financial institutions. In our campaign, Seize Your Power, we call on financial institutions to significantly increase their funding of renewable energy and cut funding to fossil fuels.

We are challenging government and financial institutions to commit to an additional US$40 billion for renewable energy by 2017 and not to invest in fossil fuels, particularly coal.

Many other NGOs, movements and coalitions are also calling for divestment from fossil fuels.

The approach has been defined. Now the action must start.

Samantha Smith is head of WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative

- See more at:


100 Sustainability Action Heroes

I was thrilled last year as Sustainia was launched during the Rio+20 conference with Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway, and organizer of the original Rio Earth Summit 20 years ago saying: “Sustainia100 demonstrates that since the first Earth Summit in 1992 solutions and innovations to tackle this challenge have been developed all over the world. We need to make more people aware of these solutions and inspire more to act.

Raising awareness and inspiring more governments, corporates and investors to act are also the cornerstones of  WWF Climate Solverm,launched in 2008. The main difference between the initiatives is Climate Solvers’ focus on energy demand and supply solutions, and the call for action to support national champions in key countries . Sustainia looks at other sustainability challenges as well including health, fashion, food, education and resources, and there is only one global list including solutions from all over the world.

After an initial meeting WWF and Sustainia soon realized that there are many exciting synergies to build upon, and we decided to collaborate around raising awareness and inspiration through already commercialized solutions. I have had the honor to be a member of the Advisory Board together with WWF colleagues with expertise in energy supply, sustainable cities and energy access solutions for the poor.

To be considered a Sustainia100 candidate a solution must be more than just a vague idea or blueprint. All 100 solutions must fulfill the following criteria: Readily available; Positive environmental impact; Financially viable; Improve quality of life; and Scalable. Let yourself be inspired by the world’s largest bike sharing program in Hangzhou, gravity powered lighting in Sri Lanka, , solar energy powered water purification in Botswana, the first all-electric zero emissions car ferry in Norway and much more.

WWF Climate Solver was proud to have been part of compiling and advising on some of the inspiring Sustainia 100 cases this year. These one hundred real entrepreneurs and initiatives carry the inspiring message of thousands of solution providers - the innovations the world needs to deploy at scale to achieve sustainability already exist! They exist all over the world whilst commercializing these at scale is the great challenge of our time. We need financial institutions, governments and corporates all over the world to make this large scale deployment of sustainable solutions a reality. As it is now many of these brilliant solutions end up being just another inspiring niche project. We need you to shift investment flows from real sustainability problems to real sustainability solutions. So please sign WWF’s Seize Your Power pledge demanding investors to shift investments from fossil to renewable energy solutions.

And let yourself be inspired by the world’s largest bike sharing program in Hangzhou, gravity powered lighting in Sri Lanka, solar energy powered water purification in Botswana, the first all-electric zero emissions car ferry in Norway and much more. Seize your power and help these solutions grow even bigger in the years to come.

Arnold Schwarzenegger calls Sustainia 100 and Climate Solver enterpreneurs “the true action heroes of sustainability”. How can you support a true sustainability action heroes like John? There are many ways to do it, and you can start by spreading the word: that the solutions for tomorrow are already here – today.  

Stefan Henningsson, WWF, Senior Advisor Climate Innovation