SSG is leading a high profile energy and emissions quantification project known as TransformTO. The modelling aspects of TransformTO include developing an action plan for reaching the City’s 2020 GHG reduction target, and a decision-support framework focused on achieving Toronto’s 2050 80×50 GHG reduction target, which aligns with the Province’s reduction of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Both the short term and long term analysis involved quantifying measures and actions directly relevant to those indicated in Schedule 1. Read more
SSG and our partners are pleased to announce the launch of Plan4DE (Plan for district energy). Plan4DE is a cutting-edge tool that addresses one of urban planning’s most challenging and up and coming areas – energy planning. Designed for use by city planners, architects, and engineers, Plan4DE assesses the viability of district energy vs. individual building energy use, including full cost accounting comparisons.
Example uses include:
- Evaluating development plans, particularly at the neighbourhood scale
- Exploring alternative development scenarios (e.g. assessing different building density scenarios)
- Scanning for DE potential in existing neighbourhoods by assessing existing building density, arrangement, and energy loads
Three versions of the model are available(basic, intermediate and advanced) to accommodate a range of knowledge and technical user experience. The advanced version is fully unlocked, to allow customisation. Guidebooks and webinars have also been created to provide guidance on the use of Plan4DE.
Want to take a closer look? Check out the recording of our introductory webinar here.
Never miss a Plan4DE update by signing up for our mailing list here.
SSG has partnered with CDP to support European cities in reporting on GHG emissions and climate risk. Both SSG and CDP recognise the critical role of cities in advancing a low carbon future.
CDP has worked with over 300 cities globally to manage over 1.67 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. CDP’s cities program demonstrates that cities are better managing their risk and increasing resiliency through more than 4,800 activities to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
“CDP has had a pivotal role in advancing climate action, firstly amongst corporations and now with cities. CDP’s work compliments SSG’s efforts to identify and implement low carbon pathways, using the lens of city planning”, says SSG Director Yuill Herbert.
SSG has fifteen years of experience working with cities, including undertaking GHG inventories using the GHG Protocol for Cities, performing emissions projections, and assessing emissions reductions strategies that consider financing, economic development, and quality of life. In Paris at COP21, SSG launched a new energy, emissions and finance model, CityInSight, designed to help cities evaluate and implement decarbonisation paths.
“SSG develops and implements comprehensive sustainability solutions for cities focused on climate action,” says Conor Riffle, Cities Director at CDP. “We are excited to welcome SSG on board as the first CDP cities consultancy partner for Europe and are confident they will continue to provide high quality services to cities responding to CDP.”
CDP offers a voluntary climate change reporting platform for city governments. The Cities program provides the world’s first global platform for municipal governments to disclose greenhouse gas emissions, climate change risks, and mitigation and adaptation strategies. CDP collects and delivers materially relevant data for cities, the private sector, and other stakeholders.
The City of Toronto has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050. Reaching this goal will require major changes in the way that residents live, travel, work and consume goods and services.
TransformTO is a project that will engage Toronto residents and businesses in imagining the transformative changes needed to reach the goal, while at the same time improving public health, enhancing the local economy, and reducing social inequalities.
TransformTO cited SSG’s energy, emissions and climate change modelling expertise in engaging SSG to model scenarios that achieve the 80% target. SSG has partnered with whatIf Technologies and ARUP on this project. The team will assess a host of different emissions reduction strategies and actions that may be used to pursue the target, including new renewable energy production possibilities, energy efficiency programs, public transit options, bicycling infrastructure, neighbourhood development patterns, and solid and liquid waste diversion and treatment options.
SSG and partner whatIf Technologies will apply their cutting edge energy, emissions and finances model, CityInSight, to the task. The modelling process and outputs will contribute to establishing a decision-making framework for the City to use in identifying the best path to a low carbon future. The project will result in suggestions for key starting points and priority actions, summarized in two reports:
- A short-term strategy (2017-2020) outlining the actions that will allow Toronto to meet its 30% emissions reduction by 2020 target through policy and programming.
- A long-term (2020-2050) approach that will identify how to meet the 80% emissions reduction by 2050 target while generating a healthier, more prosperous, and equitable city.
SSG is excited to be working with Canada’s largest city on a project that will lead to amazing positive change, and one that will hopefully be a herald to other city sustainability planning projects.
SSG is helping towns and cities across Canada develop and implement strategies to address climate change. SSG has been actively involved in UN climate change negotiations with a particular focus on the role of cities, including most recently in Paris.
In conversations with new recruits, with potential clients, partners, press, we are often met with confused faces puzzled by our inability to limit SSG and our potential to one area of work, one sector, one job. In a description for UBC from a couple of years ago, Director Yuill Herbert charts our trajectory, why and how we do the work we do, why we compete on the threshold of constant change and innovation. All the while keeping our feet firmly on the ground in being held to account not only by our cooperative members but by the grassroots; the communities we work closely with and for. Meaningful change is nothing without their participation and education around the decisions that ultimately matter to them.
“Our task is to look at the world and see it whole”, EF Schumacher
“SSG was founded in 2001 on the basis that meaningful solutions to critical societal issues needed to overcome the silos and stovepipes that characterise scientific study, design professions and design practice- and we have applied the idea of whole systems to the areas in which we work- building, planning, strategy, research and policy. Our portfolio spans energy planning, water planning, green building, urban design, waste analysis, climate change mitigation and beyond to health planning, adaptation and transportation modelling. Our dedication to this approach is such that we have embedded collaboration in our organisational structure, incorporating as a workers co-operative. Read more
Canada’s First Ministers today issued a joint communiqué following the First Ministers’ Meeting and released a declaration on clean growth and climate change:
“In the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, we met today to discuss the economy and actions to address climate change and agreed on immediate work to support growth and create new jobs.
“Building on commitments and actions already taken by provinces and territories and the momentum from COP21 in Paris, we are moving toward a pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change that will meet or exceed Canada’s international emissions targets, and will transition our country to a stronger, more resilient, low-carbon economy – while also improving our quality of life.
“We know that a fair transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy is necessary for our collective prosperity, competitiveness, health, and security. Taking smart and effective action today is essential for future generations. These decisions will put Canada at the forefront of the global clean growth economy, and will create opportunities to diversify our economies, open up access to new markets, reduce emissions, and generate good paying, long-term jobs for Canadians. Read more
It is sunny today in Paris and the hallways are buzzing with optimism. A draft text has been passed from the negotiators to the ministers and the text still includes many of the key aspects necessary for a meaningful agreement. Many challenges remain however, and ministers are working on issues such as loss and damage and the ongoing debate over the relationship between developed and developing countries, and the emissions gap between what countries have committed to and what is necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change. Read more
In this Issue #19
Our agenda in Paris
Seven members of our team will travel to Paris for the next two weeks. We have multiple objectives.
- The story of cities: Cities have a powerful role in plotting the trajectory to a low carbon future. We will be participating in the Climate Summit for Local Leaders and the Cities and Regions Pavilion led by ICLEI.
- Launching a new cities model. We will launch a new city-scale energy and emissions model in the Climate Generations area.
- We will be working to highlight the new district energy model that we have been developing for the International Energy Agency with a team of colleagues.
- One of our members, Rebecca Foon, is coordinating two major concerts at Le Trianon. These concerts have turned into a symbol of resilience. See the coverage in the Rolling Stone and further information below.
- Advocating for the role of co-operatives: Co-operatives are a powerful model that can contribute to a low carbon future while enhancing democracy, reducing inequality and providing stable employment. We will seek to highlight the role of co-operatives. See our backgrounder here.
- Climate bonds: Climate bonds can play a key role in helping finance the transition to a low carbon future and we will be tracking this discussion in Pars.
For daily updates, please follow our blog or watch for this briefing.
- The structure of the UN Climate Talks needs to be redesigned
- INDC’s show reduced emissions from energy by 2030
- Negotiations in Bonn (#Bonn)
- How can Canadian cities achieve a low carbon future
- The virtuous cycle has begun
- Vote for your Climate Future
- High polluting HFC’s
- SSG webinars on emission modeling, district energy and rewilding
- Featured network: The Coalition Climate 21
“I will if you will”: The structure of the UN Climate Talks needs to be redesigned
The science of cooperation is being ignored in favour of self interest, say University of Cambridge, UK, University of Maryland, U.S, and University of Cologne. Having individual commitments rather that agreed standards, such as setting an agreed global price for carbon, favours a more chaotic and unaccountable structure. Through the nature of peer pressure, states are more likely to aim higher and commit of the onus as shared.
In the autumn crunch, we are a hive activity here at SSG and are keen to share our work and our resources with you.
Here are our latest webinars up to January next year for you to join. We will be taking a break in December whilst at COP21 Paris for the UN Climate Talks.
1. We have our monthly Associate webinar on Wednesday 21st October 13:00 EDT, this time with Brennan Vogel on ‘Sub national approaches to climate change adaptation’
You can simply register here