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Implementing Decarbonisation

How does SSG help cities evaluate and implement decarbonisation paths?

This year, SSG released an integrated energy, emissions and finance model, CityInSight, designed specifically to support cities in identifying and implementing low carbon or decarbonisation pathways.

As part of our series of webinars on this model, here the fourth in the series here.

Hosted by Yuill Herbert from SSG and Marcus Williams from whatif Technologies, they will describe the design of the model with an update of it’s application.
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..

Wrap up of Paris, COP21

Friend of SSG, Kevin Anderson at the Tyndall Centre, provides this neat synopsis of the Paris Climate Agreement in an article for Nature Magazine. Impressed and staggered as we all were by the ease of international diplomacy to deliver an ambitious agreement, he shines light on the enormous assumption this is all based on. That to achieve 1.5C in the long term, and thus draw in carbon from the air, will require vast negative-emissions technologies, one being BECCS programs (biomass energy carbon capture and storage),

“The scale of the assumption is breathtaking. It would be the equivalent of decades of planting and harvesting of energy crops over an area of one to three times that of India.”

A sobering read on the political and economic ideologies we have in place that have muscled out what could be an opportunity for zero carbon solutions to get us to 2C.

Another piece from the Wupper Institute in Germany, Phoenix from the Ashes,  published in January agrees with the lack of a legally binding agreement. 

A facetious detail perhaps, but the writer also notes how the purpose of the committee has shifted, which was ‘to avoid the dangerous impacts of climate change’, to now acknowledging that ‘all global warming is dangerous’ … so how their role changes, is not clear. In his experience, this multinational agreement will be partly based on what and where in their journey national policies got to in terms of their capabilities and ambitions for reductions.

“The  question  is  therefore  not  whether  the  Paris Agreement will deliver the emission reductions necessary, but whether the agreement has the potential to catalyse further changes, whether it becomes a pacemaker for policy processes at  the international  level and in the  capitals  of  the world.  From  this  perspective,  the  Paris Agreement is much stronger than many had expected.”

1. It received support from developing countries for including adaptation

2. Using reputational risk as the prime motivator for reporting every five years from 2018

3. Using a transparency framework (yet to be disclosed as to what this would be) for reporting

4. Loss and Damage was included without the financial implications for developed countries in having to compensate developing countries for past emissions

5. Scaling up climate finance is weak, by keeping the same pledge as was made in Copenhagen over a decade ago, “the  goal  of mobilising  an  annual USD 100  billion  of  North-South  financial  flows  in  2020  and  beyond.” However, with a new collective target to be agreed in 2025, this figure is now seen as the ‘floor’, rather than ceiling of the financial obligations. 

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

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..) 

Read more

Mao and Radishes: 21 Stories of Transition @COP21

The common thread through tonight’s event, as asked by Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Towns movement and host of this evening, was the humility, lack of ego and localised thinking. In communities across the world from South Africa to Brazil, the collective brain of the community instinctually and creatively solved a single issue, that spiralled into easing a host of wider problems, as a result of this collaborative effort. The more actors you have in the decision making, the more needs are satisfied. Of the fifteen projects featured from his book 21 Stories of Transition and those we heard from, highlights were a project in France that not only brought together the diversity of seeds, but also diversity of language by including labels for the plants in Latin, in French and the local dialect, that reinvigorated the community again. Read more

The show will go on!

— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —

“PATHWAY TO PARIS” FINAL CONCERT EVENT WILL GO ON AT LE TRIANON, PARIS ON DECEMBER 4th & 5th 2015
WITH THOM YORKE, PATTI SMITH, FLEA, BILL MCKIBBEN, NAOMI KLEIN, VANDANA SHIVA AND MANY MORE

In light of the recent tragedies in Paris and Beirut, we would like to continue with the Pathway to Paris concerts and bring our voices together in solidarity, offering our love and commitment to a sustainable world.

Pathway to Paris is a call for peace, compassion, respect, equality, justice, love, human rights and a fight for the survival of our planet. It is about bringing together our voices to highlight our love for this world.

We feel the urgency to come together and build a global movement for climate justice, recognizing that climate change and its challenges interconnects us all.

The upcoming climate change talks offer an enormous opportunity to send a clear signal that the world is moving away from fossil fuels and towards a renewable energy future, while listening and problem solving with voices from around the world.

Music is a universal language and climate change is a global concern.

The time is now.

With love,
Jesse Paris Smith & Rebecca Foon (Co-Founders of Pathway to Paris),
Patti Smith, Thom Yorke, Flea, Dhani Harrison, Tenzin Choegyal

Tickets available for Dec 5th 2015 at: FNAC SPECTACLES

Pathway to Paris is an initiative in partnership with 350.org that brings together musicians, artists, activists, academics, politicians and innovators to participate in a series of events and dialogues to help raise consciousness around the urgency of climate action and the importance of establishing an ambitious, global, legally binding agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015.

Co-founded by musicians Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon, Pathway to Paris kicked off with an intimate evening of music and speakers at Le Poisson Rouge immediately following the People’s Climate March in New York City in September 2014, with a series of similar events unfolding in New York and Montreal over the ensuing year. The final Pathway to Paris concerts will take place December 4th & 5th 2015 in Paris and will include the musicians and speakers listed below (among others still to be announced):

PATHWAY TO PARIS
December 4th & 5th 2015
Le Trianon, Paris FR

BILL MCKIBBEN • NAOMI KLEIN • VANDANA SHIVA
PATTI SMITH • THOM YORKE • FLEA • DHANI HARRISON • 
TENZIN CHOEGYAL • JESSE PARIS SMITH • REBECCA FOON

Doors: 18:30 Show: 19:30

All participants donate their time, skills and talents; while the primary aim of P2P is consciousness-raising and call-to-action, the events also raise funds, with all proceeds going to 350.org. Pathway to Paris is supported by Ben & Jerry’s, in collaboration with 350.org, with additional support from the United Nations Development Program, Tree Laboratory, Sustainability Solutions Group, NextGen Climate America and Modo Yoga NYC.

For more information:

Rebecca Foon – rebecca@sustainabilitysolutions.ca
Alain Lahana – pathway.to.paris@gmail.com
Jamie Henn – jamie@350.org

http://www.pathwaytoparis.com

 

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