A radical catalyst for change

The Climate Action Accelerator, a non-for-profit association, aims to mobilise a critical mass of community organisations in order to scale up climate solutions, contain global warming below 2°C and avoid the risk of dangerous runaway climate change. 

These organisations are key to reversing global warming, because their audiences, contributions to total greenhouse gas emissions, and trend-setting potentials are significant and have been largely overlooked so far.

 

Enabling them to work as a community, the Climate Action Accelerator will help these organisations at least halve their own GHG emissions every decade from now on, become champions within their own ecosystems and deliver valuable transformational change.

 

This will then contribute to a domino effect for an exponential uptake and the implementation of climate solutions across society towards net-zero emissions.

The net-zero pathway

2020 has concluded the warmest decade on record.

Despite scientific warnings and growing public concern, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) continue to rise. Recent record-breaking wildfires, heatwaves, floods, droughts and storms only give us a flavor of what might lie in our future. At the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, we will have exhausted our carbon budget for 1.5°C by 2032, or even earlier, and the world could face a global average temperature rise between 3°C and 5˚C by the end of the century.

To date, climate action has been primarily driven by a mix of top-down policy efforts on the supply side, bottom-up citizen movements and coalitions of large cities and companies. These initiatives are instrumental and move in the right direction but they are not yet fast and large enough to reverse global warming and stave off the worst climate change impacts.

Time is running out and the window of opportunity for action is now.

We must halve greenhouse gas emissions every decade from now on, in order to reach net-zero emissions before 2050, according to the Carbon Law pathway developed by the Stockholm Resilience Centre. To do so, we need to leverage on fast-spreading processes of change to achieve rapidly the scope and scale of global decarbonisation required.

 

Reversing the trend of global warming is still possible for the following reasons

Climate action is less a matter of developing solutions than of accessing, implementing and scaling them exponentially.

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There is a big untapped potential, made of community organisations (civil society, hospitals, universities,  professional networks and local governments), whose audiences and trend-setting potentials, beyond their contributions to total GHG emissions, have been largely overlooked so far.

Climate action brings multiple co-benefits, yet often underestimated and misunderstood (long-term cost-effectiveness, better health, cleaner air, protection of biodiversity, reduced waste, new jobs, safety…).

Our vision

Leading the way towards science-based reduction targets

In line with the Paris Climate Agreement (2015), we envision a sustainable future, with the achievement of net-zero emissions made possible by an exponential surge of organisations leading the way towards science-based reduction targets, thus creating an unstoppable momentum across society.

They will demonstrate that climate action is increasingly accessible, feasible and beneficial, influence their ecosystems, get other organisations on board, and accelerate the implementation of climate solutions towards a social tipping point.

Reaching drawdown – the point when greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere start to decline – through drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and development of carbon sinks, requires a whole-of-society approach and transformative shift in scale within the next few years.

Our mission

We want to set a trend in society by which the greatest number of organisations halve their emissions by 2030 or earlier.

1

Empower

Empower emblematic organisations to at least halve their emissions by 2030, through a “one-stop-shop” support service

2

Champion

Transform them into champions of change within their networks, able to influence their ecosystems

3

Community

Build a global community of action, sharing climate solutions as a free universal good, in order to scale up their implementation

Objectives

The Climate Action Accelerator will operate around three primary objectives.

Target sectors

AID

HEAL

RESEARCH & EDUCATION

We will initially prioritise 3 specific service sectors. Why ?

The highest amplification potential

They have the highest amplification potential, in terms of trustfulness, reach - local, national, international - and connectedness, as they provide care, protect, generate knowledge, and prepare future generations. They rank among the five most trusted sectors in society, and are often viewed as role models, acting with integrity. Their leadership on climate action is most likely to inspire emulation by others, and throughout society. 

Each of these sectors makes sizable contributions to GHG emissions

Globally, the healthcare sector represents 5% of total emissions – the world’s fifth-largest emitter if it were a country - of which 70% are attributable to supply chains. Supply chains are also a leading source of emissions for aid organizations, transporting relief items around the world. Aid actors can also reduce their carbon footprint by “building back better”. In the education sector, energy consumption and travel - due to increases in international student mobility - have emerged as a major source of GHGs, contributing more than the annual emissions of many countries.

Solutions are easily transferable, with adaptations, across these three sectors

They represent major service sector organisations with missions of public interest. The service sector plays an increasing role in economies around the world and is responsible for a growing share of direct and indirect emissions, attributable to a variety of factors (buildings, food, transport, digital, supply chain, waste, land management). These are key climate action levers to curb emissions from the demand side of the equation. Based on similarities among these three sectors, the Climate Action Accelerator will activate the same fundamental levers for climate action, allowing cross-sector fertilisation, synergies and economies of scale.

Our team

Photo Alexa

Alexa
LEBLANC

Alexa’s career path brings together the fields of human rights advocacy, environmental transition and higher education. After a humanitarian mission in Bosnia with Médecins du Monde, she worked for 10 years with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), where she was successively in charge of the Latin America office, developed the institutional fundraising office and, more recently, was a representative to the UN in Geneva. After obtaining a Master’s degree in international environmental and human rights law in Montreal in 2009, she joined the academic world and taught on climate change, environmental transition and human rights, notably at John Abbott College in Canada, where she also helped the institution to initiate its own transition. Convinced of the imperative to accelerate the race towards carbon neutrality, Alexa joined the Climate Action Accelerator to lead on fundraising and help find the funds necessary to achieve our ambitions.

Bruno
JOCHUM

Bruno has been involved in emergency medical humanitarian action for 20 years. After several years in the field, he became successively programme manager, director of operations and then director general of Médecins sans Frontières in Geneva. He is familiar with the networks and the amplification potential of aid, health and higher education actors. In the face of climate change, he believes that every organisation must take responsibility and contribute to the accelerated transformation of society through exemplary action. Decarbonisation solutions are common goods that must be widely shared and each partner can be supported to lead its ecosystem. His awareness of human impacts and his taste for challenge led him to launch this non-profit initiative, which aims to make a difference by provoking a domino effect. With a degree from Sciences Po and a Master’s in International Public Law, he is the director and founder of the Climate Action Accelerator.

Photo Cécile Cros juin 2021

Cécile
CROS

Cécile’s career path brings together three worlds: ecological transition, higher education and international aid. After obtaining an MSc in Sustainable Environmental Management at the University of Plymouth in the UK, she became Director of Partnerships and then Director of Programmes for seven years at Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s GoodPlanet Foundation. She has been teaching for several years at Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye, in particular on climate and international cooperation. She has also worked as a consultant for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and contributed to the writing of several books on the environment. Prior to that, Cecile held several senior positions within the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as head of sub-delegation in countries in conflict and as deputy head of operations for Latin America. Cécile joins the Climate Action Accelerator to contribute effectively to the stabilisation of the climate change. 

Cédric
MARTIN

An engineer by training, inspired by participative management models and trained in non-violent communication, Cédric has developed a particular aptitude for listening and accompanying organisations in their transformation challenges. With an atypical international background – notably in emergency humanitarian work in conflict zones and as a programme manager – he then worked for several years as a consultant on organisational resilience, risk analysis, critical incident response and the evolution of organisational practices. In a very personal approach, Cédric sees in the Climate Action Accelerator initiative an opportunity to align his professional commitments and his deep motivations. Trained in carbon assessments and participatory methods, Cédric assists partners in defining their decarbonisation roadmaps.

Charlotte
COCHAUD

Charlotte is the creative one in the team, always full of good ideas and open to what moves and makes sense. She has a great expertise in communication, developed when she was Head of Communication at Michel et Augustin and Head of Social Media at Chanel. Close to nature, Charlotte is passionate about transition issues. She launched a community “Et Après? during the first containment in order to ask questions on the subject of transition in the fields of tourism, work and the environment. Charlotte now coordinates the communication strategy of the Climate Action Accelerator.

Estelle
GOUENARD

Specialised in the management of organisations, Estelle has been accompanying companies in their transformation (finance, digital and skills) as a project manager for 10 years. Passionate about the ecological transition and behavioural shift, Estelle joined the Climate Action Accelerator to work on the combination of environmental and cognitive issues. She coordinates the creation of commons and their sharing through of a community of practice. She plays a key role in implementing the best management tools in our various projects.

François
DELFOSSE

With a Master’s degree in management and geopolitics, and a Bioforce certification as an international solidarity logistician, François has extensive experience in conducting humanitarian operations as head of mission for Médecins sans Frontières in various countries, from Vietnam to Côte d’Ivoire, Iraq, Sudan and Syria. He was also director of the MSF section in Luxembourg. A specialist in risk analysis, very aware of climate scenarios and driven by the imperative to do no harm, he was in charge of environmental issues at MSF headquarters in Geneva. Currently a Master’s student at the Green Management School in Paris, François joined the Climate Action Accelerator initiative to combine two major commitments: humanitarian action and environmental action. What he prefers about Climate Action Accelerator is the emulation, the sharing and the search for an exponential impact because he knows that time is running out. François supports aid sector partners in their decarbonisation strategy.

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Jean
COLRAT

Jean is our specialist in carbon footprint measurement and analysis. He first specialised in the assessment and management of human risks within various multinational companies. He has seen first-hand the damage caused by not taking environmental and societal impacts into account. He then moved on to audit and project assignments on environmental issues (implementation of low-carbon strategies, risks and adaptation to climate change, training and awareness-raising on environmental issues). Jean joined the Climate Action Accelerator because the community approach to sharing and action resonates with his personal commitments. He is convinced that environmental upheaval impacts us all and that solutions will come from working together. He assists partners in their carbon measurement methodology and helps to identify the necessary actions.

julien_grondin

Julien
GRONDIN

As a young engineer from the Ecole des Mines and explorer of solutions, Julien joined the Climate Action Accelerator to participate in the construction of environmental roadmaps and discover the humanitarian sector. Julien identifies existing or future solutions, keeps a constant watch and studies the technical elements.

Kerstin
BLIDI-SCHMIDT

After 15 years as a fundraising manager in the humanitarian aid sector at Care International, Médecins sans Frontières and now NonViolent Peaceforce, Kerstin decided to put her fundraising experience at the service of Climate Action Accelerator. Sensitive to environmental issues, she helps us to mobilise the financial means necessary to achieve our ambition.

Mathilde
JOURDE

A graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, Mathilde works in the fundraising team. She joined the Climate Action Accelerator to promote the ecological transition.

Pierre
BEURRIER

By identifying talent and structuring the organisational development of the Climate Action Accelerator, Pierre plays an essential role in the process. With a degree in management, humanitarian law and international relations, Pierre has been working with health and humanitarian organisations for the past 15 years to meet the challenges of their transformation. He has held positions as administrator, project manager and head of mission in humanitarian associations as well as administrative director in a medical surgery and obstetrics health establishment in France. Aware of the climate emergency and the challenge to be met, he joined Climate Action Accelerator to work on the launch and development of an associative startup that thinks differently. He was seduced by the approach: to propose solutions as a common good and to give oneself an obligation of result in terms of decarbonisation. With a Master’s degree in Ecological Transition, Pierre is responsible for human resources, finance and participatory dynamics.

Zaninka NTAGUNGIRA

Zaninka
NTAGUNGIRA

Zaninka holds a Master’s degree in development studies, specialising in environment and resources from the Graduate Institute. She was chair of the students’ environmental committee at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, where she worked on projects on waste management, climate action and environmental diplomacy. She wrote her thesis on Rwanda’s innovative plastics policy and became interested in sustainability on the African continent. She joined the Climate Action Accelerator as an intern because she wants to contribute usefully to climate action. Zaninka is supporting the development of the initiative.

Our board

Dr Karim LAOUABDIA-SELLAMI

Dr Karim
LAOUABDIA-SELLAMI

Karim Laouabdia-Sellami (president) is the former deputy general director of the Agence francaise de biomedicine, a French government body, former director of MSF’s Campaign for Essential Medecine and former Director General of MSF in Paris. 

Béatrice
GODEFROY

Beatrice Godefroy (treasurer) is the director for Europe of CIVIC – Civilians in Conflict – a humanitarian NGO focusing on the protection of civilians.

Marc
HERMANT

Marc Hermant (secretary) is the Director of Human Resources at Unisanté. Unisanté is a university centre for general medicine and public health based in Lausanne. The institution has nearly 900 employees active in research, academic training, prevention and care.

Élise
BUCKLE

Elise Buckle is President of Climate and Sustainability, advisor to the UN and former director of special projects at the Climate Action Network. She has a huge wealth of experience and networks in climate policy agenda driving.

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Gilles
CARBONNIER

Gilles Carbonnier is the Vice President of the International Committee of the Red Cross and a Professor of Economics and Development at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales et de Développement of Geneva (Graduate Institute).

Sonia Roschnik - Picture

Sonia
ROSCHNIK

Sonia Roschnik is International Climate Policy Director at Healthcare without Harm, and former director of the sustainability unit at the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom. She is a specialist of the sustainable transformation of health services.

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