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Pathway To Paris #20: It’s cloudy in Paris… notes from the COP21

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In this Issue #20

  • SSG digest from the frontline
  • An energy transformation
  • Carbon pricing everywhere
  • Divestment of risky assets
  • Ratcheting up the ambition
  • Coming to a city near you
  • Two degrees too many
  • To be legal or not to be?

SSG digest from the frontline

On Monday, 150 heads of states established an ambitious and hopeful tone for the negotiations. For a sense of the venue and the mood check out this short video from the UNFCCC.

The negotiations are heating up after little progress by diplomats so far. You can feel the energy levels increasing and the talk becoming more urgent and impassioned at the bargaining table: “We are not making anywhere near the progress we need to be making at this point”, said US official Daniel Reifsnyder, one of the two co-chairmen of the negotiations. Read more

SSG launches CityInSight: our new energy, emissions & finance model for cities and towns at COP21, Paris

The Canadian climate change and urban planning consultancy SSG launched CityInSight: an open source energy, emissions and finances model for cities, at COP21 in Paris this week.

“Cities are demonstrating the will to take on energy and emissions challenges. CityInSight enables cities to rigorously explore the impact of policies and investments on the transition to a low or zero carbon future, “ said Yuill Herbert, Director at SSG.

CityInSight is a sophisticated model with integrated spatially-explicit land-use and transportation components, and stocks-and-flows accounting. It analyses the impact of land-use and policy scenarios on energy, emissions and their associated financial and employment metrics. You can listen to the recording of the seminar we held in Le Bourget, at COP21 on 2nd December. (It starts 1:30 minutes in, and make sure your volume is turned up high..) 

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www.CGPGrey.com

Pathway to Paris #16: Three steps to low carbon cities: finance, effective planning, appetite

A biweekly climate briefing for municipalities

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In this Issue #16

  • How do we ensure cities are low carbon?
  • Clean energy grows and grows in Canada
  • Talk of the Cities
  • Downtown is sought after for both living and working
  • Are wealth indexes an accurate measurement of wealth?
  • Should local government also own and manage our energy supply?
  • Tickets are on sale for our 350.org gig in Paris (and selling out fast!)
  • Different approaches to climate action in Paris
  • Featured network: Local Climate Leaders Circle

Now that more people are seeking a compact city-life, how do we ensure cities are low carbon?

The latest report from New Climate Economy highlights policies and actions required to enable the transition to low carbon cities. Financial initiatives, essential monitoring tools and an appetite for walkability (as the article following this proves) are making the compact city popular again. Migration to cities is also increasing, for example by 2050 800 million people are expected to urbanize in Africa’s Sub Saharan region alone. So, how we can high carbon development be bypassed to manage this rapid urbanisation in a low carbon way? Read more

The pressure mounts with 87 days to go until #COP21

A biweekly climate briefing for municipalities

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In this Issue #15

  • A UN meeting in Bonn with [mostly] hopeful results
  • Country commitments are falling way short of expectations
  • Under 1.5C is cheaper than high carbon business
  • Islamic scholars follow the lead of Pope Francis II
  • Overcoming the gap: is the solution in non-state actors?
  • News from other networks
  • Featured network: Compact of States and Regions

 

On the road to Paris; a UN meeting in Bonn with [mostly] hopeful results

Negotiators met in Bonn this week to continue narrowing in on the elements of the Paris agreement, with nation states putting forward their preferences for a formal agreement. A series of high level meetings will follow where ministers seek to overcome a number of roadblocks. On the sidelines, campaigners joined climate vulnerable countries to ask to prioritise the loss & damage sections of the agreement that provide compensation to countries which experience the impacts of climate change, for example those who are displaced. Many developed countries have opposed the loss and damage mechanism but the discussions are increasingly constructive. The general tone as a result of the Bonn meetings is hopeful for a meaningful agreement in Paris. For a detailed review, see this press conference. Similarly, if you wish to see more and catch up with other webinars and ongoing, see this page for recordings.

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Pathway to Paris #12: Two key new entries to the climate discourse

A biweekly climate briefing for municipalities

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About this service | Subscribe to this newsletter | Contact the editor

In this Issue #12

  • Papal Encyclical

  • China announces climate targets in the lead up to Paris

  • A remarkable court ruling in Holland

  • An unusual statement from the global health community

  • Cities gather in Paris in December

  • Cities as global changemakers

  • Featured network: Divest Invest


Papal Encyclical

The most notable event of 2015 so far with respect to climate action, the Papal Encyclical commanded responses from current and potential political figures, the UN, economists and everyone in between. At seventy-five pages long, the Encyclical states that climate change is one of the principal challenges facing humanity, and that it is a moral issue requiring respectful dialogue with all parts of society. There are many notable quotes, but of these one that caught our attention:

“In some places, cooperatives are being developed to exploit renewable sources of energy which ensure local self-sufficiency and even the sale of surplus energy. This simple example shows that, while the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference.” Read more

Putting a Price on Carbon

From our one of our Office of Research Projects: MC3

Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission has released a report outlining how Canada can quickly and efficiently reduce carbon emissions. Their proposal? Every province in Canada should put a price on carbon. They argue that “strong provincial carbon pricing policies… make good economic sense for every province—and for Canada as a whole. Designing those policies to recognize essential economic differences as well as different provincial priorities is nothing more than practical.” The report echoes the number one policy orientation of the Sustainable Canada Dialogue, Acting on Climate Change.

The success of the BC Carbon Tax provides evidence that putting a price on carbon can reduce emissions without adversely affecting the economy. Furthermore, the fact that Quebec and Alberta, with their disparate political cultures and economic foundations, have both adopted carbon pricing, demonstrates that policies can be tailored to the provincial context, achieving carbon reductions efficiently.
– See more at: http://www.mc-3.ca/blog/putting-price-carbon#sthash.kqw70vvI.dpuf