Entries for the 2021 Ashden Awards have opened with international categories promoting innovation in energy access, natural climate solutions and sustainable cooling for low-income neighbourhoods.
The prestigious annual awards highlight outstanding climate innovations, boosting bright ideas that can be scaled up or replicated around the world.
Award categories relevant to African applicants include the Ashden award for Energy Access Innovation, the Ashden Award for Humanitarian Energy, and the Ashden Award for Cooling in Informal Settlements and the Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions which will highlight reforestation projects in the Congo basin specifically.
“This year we are awarding solutions taking on the biggest international climate challenges – from defending our rainforests to helping people survive deadly heatwaves. This includes the ongoing battle to connect everyone with clean and affordable energy, including the world’s 80 million refugees and displaced people,” CEO Harriet Lamb said.
Last year Ashden Award 2020 Winners in Africa included the Togolese Electrification and Renewable Energy Agency, AT2ER (a government body with the task of ensuring that all of Togo has access to electricity), and runners up included Econsult architects in Egypt, New Energy Nexus Uganda whose ‘last mile distributers’ ensure clean energy products reach rural areas in Uganda, and CAMGEW -a women-led bee farming and reforestation project in Cameroon.
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This year, Ashden hope to receive a similarly impressive set of applications from innovators in Africa working with communities to reduce climate impacts.
Ms Lamb continues: “Our awards will focus on innovation supporting those marginalised or at risk of being left behind – from indigenous peoples to families living without electricity.”
“Coronavirus has put the progress of many climate pioneers in danger – but they have responded by digging deep to help their communities at this difficult time. Now more than ever, we must celebrate these innovators and back their work building a cleaner, fairer future for all.”
Award nominations are open now, and close on March 3. Winners will be announced in the autumn. As well as a cash grant of up to £20,000, winning organisations receive development support, networking opportunities, and PR support (including a broadcast-quality film about their work).