Paddling along Toronto's Waterfront

SSG engaged to set direction on Toronto’s low carbon future.

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.  

Communiqué of Canada’s First Ministers

From the Prime Minister’s Web Site (http://pm.gc.ca/)

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

Sunnier days: Update from Paris

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

À la prochaine a Paris

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Launching a new cities model. We will launch a new city-scale energy and emissions model in the Climate Generations area.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Read more

Associate Webinar: Brennan Vogel on sub-national approaches to climate change adaptation

Continuing our series of Associate webinars after Lindsay’s excellent kick-off, Brennan Vogel, Associate of SSG and PhD candidate will present and discuss his research focused on sub-national approaches to climate change adaptation in Canada. Brennan will share empirical evidence and analysis of the social factors that enable and constrain adaptation at the local scale, based on comparative case study analysis of Nova Scotia’s MCCAP policy process at inter-related Municipal and Provincial scales. The webinar will share the results of this work. Vogel’s PhD research has focused on a comparative analysis of the Nova Scotia ‘Municipal Climate Change Action Plans’ (MCCAPs). In Canada, MCCAPs are the only Provincial example of a policy instrument to monetize vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning for Canadian Municipalities, utilizing the Federal Gas Tax policy instrument to financially leverage and incentivize adaptation planning for local stakeholders. 

Please register for ‘Sub-national approaches to climate change adaptation’ on October 21st, 2015 1:00 PM EDT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/881849484181215385

Brennan’s PhD research has contributed methodological innovation (Vogel and Henstra, 2015; GEC 31:110-120) for conducting comparative analysis of adaptation planning and policy-making processes through case study. The methodology and conceptual framework provides a theoretically rigorous, methodologically practical and policy-applicable means for identifying and assessing the impactful social factors that affect the performance of adaptation policy and development interventions at variable governance scales.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.