Transformative Step of the Day Launches in Durban

(Durban) – Today at COP17 in Durban, a multi-stakeholder coalition that includes the UN Global Compact in cooperation with the UNFCCC Secretariat, launched the Transformative Step of the Day initiative as a way to increase focus on transformative low-carbon solutions during the climate negotiations.

From smart grids and intelligent buildings to e-commerce and e-health, transformative solutions enabled by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) play a key role in driving low-carbon development and supporting sustainable growth in both developed and developing countries.

The purpose of Transformative Step of the Day is to advance earlier discussions on the role of transformative solutions in climate change to more concrete action plans at local levels. For three days, starting 5 December, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) together with the UNFCCC and ITU, will present an award to leading government initiatives that recognises low-carbon transformative solutions.

“Limiting the global temperature increase to 2°C will require nothing less than a complete transformation of the global economy, comparable with a second industrial revolution. Putting the economy on a climate-resilient and low-carbon path will affect the way we communicate with each other, how we live and how we do business. Transformative Step of the Day is an important initiative led by people who fully understand that climate change is also an opportunity to deploy innovative technology to make the world climate-safe,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC.

Luis Neves, Chairman of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), stated: “We are in a situation where connectivity and transformative ICT solutions can turn buildings into net producers of renewable energy and eliminate the need for physical products and activities.” He continued: “It is time to ensure that a new generation of solution providers becomes an essential part of all important initiatives and policies to combat climate change. By recognising solution providers and their enabling environments, Transformative Step of the Day will take us one step further towards achieving this objective.”

“Transformative solutions make it possible for developing countries to leapfrog to a modern and low-carbon economy,” commented Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of ITU. “By being part of this initiative, the ITU aims to ensure that the socioeconomic benefits of deploying transformative solutions in developing countries are not overlooked,” he added.

“New and truly transformative solutions are critical to ensure sustainable development,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “There is a disconnect between the many smart solutions that already exist and the current focus on incremental improvement in existing systems. We need to create incentives so that solution providers are supported and that these solutions can diffuse rapidly and widely. Through Caring for Climate, the UN Global Compact and UNEP have created a growing platform of more than 400 businesses that in different ways explore how to link innovation and green growth.”

The Transformative Step of the Day award will be facilitated through a mobile application and a web-portal, which will be used to keep track of different initiatives in support of transformative low-carbon solutions. Delegations will have the opportunity to provide information about their initiatives through the mobile application and web-portal, which can be found on


Alice Valvodova
Executive Director
Global e-Sustainability Initiative
+32 2 282 8442

Matthias Stausberg
UN Global Compact