Posts

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. 

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

 

350-logo-org1

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.

SSG Summer 2015 review

Our monthly newsletter on news and inspiration at the nexus of sustainability

This month we decided to run a review of where SSG is at and what we have learnt over the past six months from the diverse projects we have completed, and ones we have started. Extreme weather planning for farms, to greenhouse gas inventories to Brownfield guidebooks and e-dialogues. The content got a bit long, so we’ve kept it to a few examples, and next month we’ll include more. Please let us know your feedback and thoughts.

[Recently completed]

“Cold what cold. People like to walk in Yellowknife”

Jeremy - Yellowknife 2

First GHG Inventory in Canada to use the GHGProtocol for Cities

This year we completed a GHG Inventory Report for the City of Yellowknife. The project involved developing a ground-up GHG and energy model for the City of Yellowknife based on land-use and other assumptions to develop a business as usual scenario, the first inventory that we know of in Canada to use the GHGProtocol for Cities. The City spent an estimated $140 million in 2014, approximately $19,800 per household. One remarkable fact about Yellowknife is that 13% of all trips are by walking, an exceptionally high mode share for cities of this size. In part at least, this statistic is a function of the City being a compact community.

Read more

Pathway to Paris #13: Concert lineup announced in advance of COP21 talks

In this Issue #13

  • Government of Quebec ups the ante

  • Green / climate bonds on the rise

  • What is the economic benefit of a low carbon society?

  • The impact of climate on the birds

  • Featured visual: Electric Generation in Spain over last 24 hours

  • Why we can’t think clearly about climate change

  • Pathway to Paris announces concert line-up for COP21

  • Featured network:International District Energy Agency (IDEA)


Government of Quebec ups the ante

Sub-national governments with a track record of leadership on climate gathered in Toronto at the Climate Summit of the Americas to share and plan future efforts. The Government of Quebec announced it will reduce emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) from 80% to 95% by 2050 under 1990 levels.

Read more

Pathway to Paris #11: Where are we after the Bonn talks?

A biweekly climate briefing for municipalities

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

In this Issue #11

  • The last two weeks

  • UN preparatory meeting in the lead up to Paris

  • Countries issue their national targets

  • How can towns and cities contribute to a fair and ambitious climate deal in Paris?

  • New GHGProof pilot

  • Climate vulnerability monitor

  • Climate Publishers Network

  • Featured network: The Climate Vulnerability Network


A very eventful two weeks

It has been two weeks since the last newsletter and it seems like a generation, as everything is shifting very quickly. The G7 outlined a plan to phase out fossil fuels by 2100. While this plan is likely insufficient to prevent dangerous climate change, it is the first time that many key leaders have used the word decarbonisation, a shift in the discourse and a signal to investors, as the Guardian describes. Other unanticipated pronouncements: the CEOs of Europe’s largest oil companies including Shell, BP, BG Group, Eni, Statoil and Total wrote to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change requesting an international price on carbon. Chevron and ExxonMobil did not sign the letter. For those of you with kids (or otherwise), check out the Climate Hope City built in Minecraft. The Pope is about to issue an encyclical on climate change. Newspapers launched a pioneering effort to share stories on climate change. A study found that Canada’s GHG emissions cost the world 8,800 lives and $15.4 Billion every year. An IMF analysis found that fossil fuel subsidies totalled $4.9 trillion (6.5 percent of global GDP) in 2013. Eliminating these subsidies in 2015 could raise government revenue by $2.9 trillion (3.6 percent of global GDP), cut global CO2 emissions by more than 20 percent, and cut premature air pollution deaths by more than half.

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