Posts

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

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

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

www.CGPGrey.com

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

A biweekly climate briefing for municipalities

About this service

Subscribe to this newsletter

Contact the editor

 

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

About this service

Subscribe to this newsletter

Contact the editor

 

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.

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

SSG Newswire June 2015: How does our work at the provincial level affect the bigger picture?

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

[Recently completed]

Future Oxford: our plan is endorsed by Council

“Community’s vision for its future emphasizes education and creativity, a growing sustainable economy, and environmental leadership”.

A year and a day after the Community Sustainability Plan Steering Committee was announced, the final draft of Oxford’s first Community Sustainability Plan was tabled and endorsed at County Council last week. We have worked with them and our partners InDeco since 2014 in a thorough and ambitious public engagement process. Online, this included a website futureoxford.ca (http://www.futureoxford.ca/) and related social media tools and offline, World Cafe’s and a competition for community members and students to envision Oxford County life in 2030, using video, artwork or writing. They also recently gained attention for their aspirational target to be 100% renewable by 2050! Read more

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

A biweekly climate briefing for municipalities

————————————————————

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

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