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The International Co-operative Alliance issues statement on climate change for COP21, Paris

Statement of the International Co-operative Alliance General Assembly to the world leaders involved in the COP21 in Paris

We, the delegates of the 44th General Assembly of the International Co-operative Alliance, gathered in Antalya, Turkey, on the 13th of November 2015, emphasize to the heads of state and government that will meet in Paris in December 2015 for the COP21 that:  

  1. The International Co-operative Alliance, celebrating this year its 120th anniversary, represents one billion individuals, members of more than 2.5 million co-operative enterprises worldwide that provide for the livelihoods of or directly employ 250 million people.
  2. Co-operatives are sustainable enterprises and their important role in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals has been recognized in several global policy initiatives, such as the Rio+20 outcome document, the Financing for Development Outcome Document and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  3. Co-operatives are active in many sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, retail, insurance, housing, banking and energy, among others, and can therefore be a vehicle to implement the Sustainable Development Goals across different fields, the fight against climate change included.
  4. The International Co-operative Alliance has urged its members to continue and step up their initiatives to fight climate change.

Therefore,

The International Co-operative Alliance urges the heads of state and government, present in Paris for the COP21, to agree to effective and ambitious measures against climate change and to take into consideration the co-operative movement as a partner in their implementation.

Pathway to Paris #17: What are the pathways to deep decarbonization?

A biweekly climate briefing for municipalities

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In this Issue #17

  • Another remarkable speech
  • Pathways to Deep Decarbonization
  • The climate justice movement prepares for Paris
  • Game-changing act of diplomacy between US and China
  • Momentum for Change: the best ideas
  • Diplomats raise hopes for deal to cut greenhouse gases
  • Interesting week for Shell
  • Latin America and European cities are least dependent on fossil fuels
  • Pathway to Paris: POP Montreal
  • Featured network: United Cities and Local Governments

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Another remarkable speech

Following shortly on the coattails of a flurry of powerful speeches touching on climate change by the Pope in the US (for example, was a remarkable commentary by the Governor of the Bank of England that sent shockwaves through the business sections of the media. Speaking at Lloyd’s, a major insurance company, Mark Carney pointed out that once climate change becomes a defining issue for financial stability, it may already be too late- he called this the Tragedy of the Horizon. He also pointed to three types of risks:

Read more

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

A biweekly climate briefing for municipalities

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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

SSG hires new Finance Director Colin MacDougall

We are very happy to announce that Colin MacDougall will be SSG’s new Director of Finance. Colin
Colin has worked most recently for the Agency for Co-operative Housing overseeing the Corporate Services Division and previously at La Siembra Co-operative as Director of Finance (source of Cocoa Camino chocolate, and like SSG, a workers co-operative). Based in Ottawa, Colin is bilingual in English and French. Colin has an MBA from McGill and a Bachelors of International Business from Carleton.

“I am absolutely thrilled to join the SSG team,” says Colin. “The work that they do is inspiring and simply vital given the challenges our natural world is facing. The fact that SSG has organized as a worker co-operative really speaks to me as well. I believe that democratically run organizations are the wave of the future. I am looking forward to helping SSG grow and spread their passion and expertise further and wider.”

Colin takes the reigns from Berta Gaulke, who has managed SSG’s finances for nearly five years, where she leaves a legacy of organized and improved financial management systems. We are very thankful for all of her work and wish her well in her retirement!

The SSG Story so far: Yuill Herbert presents to the All – Party Co-operative Caucus

The All-Party Caucus on Co-operatives held its eight meeting on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, under the theme “Innovative co-ops in green technologies and climate change adaptation.” Yuill was invited to provide the story of SSG, and why we do what we do. Here is his presentation:

“Thank you for inviting me here to present- it is an honour. Climate change is literally in the DNA of Sustainability Solutions Group or Groupe de solution durables, the cooperative of which I am a member. To illustrate, I will tell the story of SSG, how from humble beginnings we have become a leading sustainability consulting practice. I believe this story will help demonstrate why Canada needs to invest in more cooperatives as social innovators that confront critical issues facing society.

The genesis of SSG reaches back to my university days. A number of friends and I became concerned about the disconnect between the curriculum and operations and the scientific imperative to act on climate change- our premise being that if universities were not going to act, then who would. Read more