What would happen if Canada’s major cities prioritized a green recovery in response to COVID-19? Their investments could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds by 2030, create over 2.9 million jobs, and reduce air pollution by 32%, preventing 3,950 premature deaths over the next decade. Read more
26 September 2019
SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTIONS GROUP (SSG) SUPPORTS YOUTH CLIMATE STRIKE
Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax – Sustainability Solutions Group (Canadian Co-op), a leading local government climate change planning consultancy, will suspend services and join young people in their Global Climate Strike actions around the world on September 27th, 2019. Read more
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.
Following the commitment of world leaders to an aspirational limit in global temperature of 1.5 degree increase at the December 2015 COP 21 negotiations (UNFCCC, 2015), it is clear that we need to dramatically change our current development paths if we are to achieve this objective.
What are the next steps for Canadian governments if they are serious about achieving a limit of 1.5 degrees increase and in a time frame that will make a difference for humanity? Are the scholars from Sustainable Canada Dialogues right that we can achieve a carbon neutral economy by 2050 through renewable energy? What kinds of policies and incentives have to be in place to accelerate the pace of change if we are to meet our commitments under COP21? How far does the Vancouver Declaration get us towards 1.5?
What are the Next Steps?
Join us on March 23rd, 10:00am-11:00pm PST or 1:00pm-2:00pm EST, for a wide-ranging conversation on the next steps Canada should take if they are serious about their commitments as a signatory to COP 21.
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament
Professor Ann Dale, Principle Investigator MC3 research project, Meeting the Climate Change Challenge.
Professor Catherine Potvin, the fearless leader behind the seminal action plan, Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian scholars.
Yuill Herbert, Director of Sustainability Solutions Group and one of this country’s foremost community climate activists
Professor Leslie King, Co-Researcher MC3 research project, Meeting the Climate Change Challenge.
Click here to join the conversation
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
A very happy New Year to all of you.
To kickstart 2016, we held a webinar with Yuill from SSG and Marcus from WhatIf Technologies who update us with the launch of CityInSight at COP21 Paris. For those who haven’t been following the development of the model we’ll share the design and application of its use too.
SSG has partnered with whatIf? Technologies, an international leader in simulation modelling, to increase the sophistication, scope and capabilities of GHGProof in a new model – CityInSight. CityInSight also incorporates the Global GHG Protocol for Cities, a GHG accounting framework launched as the new global standard by the World Resources Institute, ICLEI, C40, UN Habitat and others at the UN Conference of the Parties in Lima in 2014.
Pathway to Paris is a collection of artists, activists, academics, musicians, politicians, innovators who came together to make our voices heard at COP21 in Paris 2015.
To read more about the concert and our work in Paris over the COP, follow this link.
“The climate crisis calls for courage, compassion & community. It is about peace. It calls for local, national and international solidarity. It asks that we change our lives for the better of the planet and for the collective future of our humanity. Climate change will change everything. This crisis demands that we make peace and sustainability our guiding principles.
We must come together and truly acknowledge how interconnected we all are. We must all add our voices to this urgent call for a just and livable world. The nature of that change is up to all of us – as citizens, consumers, activists, artists, scientists, students, journalists, business people, politicians. This is why we are all here tonight. The time is now.
The UN talks currently taking place need to establish an ambitious and legally binding agreement for our climate and environment. We must move in the direction of 100% clean energy – while evolving more equitable and just societies in the process, rooted in compassion and love for our world.
It is an enormous pleasure to be here with all of you.”
Friday 4th December
Saturday 5th December
(Headline quote attributed to Sandra Steinberger from EcoWatch article)
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 #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