First GCF Green Champions to be announced at COP25

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 27 Nov 2019

The finalists of the first GCF Green Champion Awards have been selected from a total pool of 280 nominees, and the final results will be announced at the sidelines of COP25 in Madrid, Spain.

The GCF Green Champions Awards was launched in August this year to recognise and promote the most noteworthy and successful efforts to fight climate change in developing countries. The nominees, which include outstanding individuals and organisations driving climate transformation, are among the prime examples of initiatives that exemplify environmental, social and business-led commitments to combat climate change.

Awards Categories

Nominations for the awards were accepted under the followng six categories:

  • Climate Youth Champion - Young people who are making a difference in responding to the climate challenge. The nominees must be aged 25 years or less.
  • Climate Gender Champion - A person that has a track record in emphasising the inclusiveness of women in climate action.
  • Climate Community Champion - A person or organisation that is central to a community’s engagement with climate action.
  • Transformational Country Champion - A person or organisation in a developing country which has made notable progress in pursuing a GCF country programme, using GCF readiness effectively; excelling in stakeholder consultation, etc.
  • Climate Entrepreneur - A person or organisation making inroads in bringing the private sector into climate finance.
  • Climate Lifetime Achievement Champion - An individual who is a recognized trailblazer in promoting climate action.

Jury members

The winners of the first GCF Green Champions Awards will be decided by a jury composed of nine high-level individuals from across the globe, themselves championing efforts related to addressing the climate emergency.

Claudia Martínez Zuleta

Claudia Martinez has more than 30 years of practical experience in sustainable development, finance and climate change. She is the Director of E3-Ecology, Economics and Ethics (, supporting innovating programs and actions to foster sustainable development, new economies and financial schemes. Ms Zuleta is the representative for Colombia and Co-chair of the country programs of the Food and Land Use Economy (FOLU), a former Director of the Office of Sustainable Development and later Vice President for Social and Environmental Development at the Latin American Development Bank (CAF).

Inderpreet Singh Wadhwa

A renewable energy entrepreneur, Inderpreet Singh Wadhwa is the founding Chairman and CEO of Azure Power Global Limited. In 2008, he founded Azure Power, which launched an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2016, enabling the first listing of Indian energy assets on the New York Stock Exchange.

MaryJane Enchill

MaryJane Enchill is a professional journalist and environmentalist, engaged in environmental protection for the past 10 years through community-based actions, as well as engagement in the broader environmental governance and climate policy processes. She is currently Deputy Chief Executive Officer of HATOF Foundation and the Assistant Country Coordinator of Climate Action Network-Ghana. Ms Enchill has substantial experience in intergovernmental processes that span across the CBD, UNCCD, and UNFCCC, where she supported the development of the Ghana's NDC, National Climate Change Policy, National Communications, and Biennial Update Reports.

Patricia Espinosa

Patricia Espinosa is Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, bringing more than 30 years of experience at highest levels in international relations. As Mexico's representative on multilateral bodies and international organizations in Vienna, Geneva and New York, Ms Espinosa has been engaged as leader in the global challenge to address climate change and its consequences, notably as Chair of the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC leading to the adoption of the Cancun Agreements.

Ricardo Lagos

Ricardo Lagos was President of the Republic of Chile between 2000 and 2006, having played a predominant role in the process to recover the democracy in Chile, being the founder and first president of the Party for the Democracy. Prior to becoming president, Mr Lagos was Minister of Education (1990) and Minister of Public Works (1994) in the country.

Youba Sokona

Prof Sokona is currently Special Advisor for Sustainable Development at the South Centre. With over 35 years of experience addressing energy, environment and sustainable development in Africa, Prof Sokona has been at the heart of numerous national and continental initiatives, being elected Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in October 2015. Prior to this, Prof Sokona was Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III on the mitigation of climate change for the Fifth Assessment Report after serving as a Lead Author since 1990.

Claudia Dobles Camargo

The first lady of the Republic of Costa Rica, Claudia Dobles has more than 14 years of experience in design, project management and urban planning, dedicated to developing large-scale projects around the world, promoting sustainability and resilience. Focusing on improving people’s life quality in cities, she prioritizes three main domains including Urban Mobility, Housing and Urban Planning.

Anne Hidalgo

Anne Hidalgo has served as the Mayor of Paris since the 2014 municipal election. She is the first woman to hold the office. A member of the Socialist Party since 1994, she was the First Deputy Mayor of Paris under Bertrand Delanoë (2001–2014), holding the title of Paris City Councillor from the 15th arrondissement since 9 March 2001. On 22 January 2016, she was elected First Vice President of the Métropole du Grand Paris to her mayoral position.

Loren Legarda

Lorna Regina Bautista Legarda is currently serving as representative of Antique and Deputy House Speaker of the House of Representatives. She previously served as Senator of the Philippines for three terms and is notable as the only female to top two senatorial elections - 1998 and 2007. Ms Legarda was a 2001 UNEP Laureate as declared by the United Nations Environment Programme, and a 2008 Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaption for Asia and the Pacific as declared by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.