À la prochaine a Paris

In this Issue #19

Our agenda in Paris

Seven members of our team will travel to Paris for the next two weeks. We have multiple objectives.

  1. The story of cities: Cities have a powerful role in plotting the trajectory to a low carbon future. We will be participating in the Climate Summit for Local Leaders and the Cities and Regions Pavilion led by ICLEI.
  2. Launching a new cities model. We will launch a new city-scale energy and emissions model in the Climate Generations area.
  3. We will be working to highlight the new district energy model that we have been developing for the International Energy Agency with a team of colleagues.
  4. One of our members, Rebecca Foon, is coordinating two major concerts at Le Trianon. These concerts have turned into a symbol of resilience. See the coverage in the Rolling Stone and further information below.
  5. Advocating for the role of co-operatives: Co-operatives are a powerful model that can contribute to a low carbon future while enhancing democracy, reducing inequality and providing stable employment. We will seek to highlight the role of co-operatives. See our backgrounder here.
  6. Climate bonds: Climate bonds can play a key role in helping finance the transition to a low carbon future and we will be tracking this discussion in Pars.

For daily updates, please follow our blog or watch for this briefing.

A sense of optimism

We see and hear signs of optimism for a meaningful agreement in Paris everywhere. The words of the Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki Moon from yesterday illustrate that more than optimism is required:  “My message to world leaders is clear: Success in Paris depends on you. Now is the time for common sense, compromise and consensus. It is time to look beyond national horizons and to put the common interest first. The people of the world – and generations to come – count on you to have the vision and courage to seize this historic moment.” To reinforce this message, join a march!

Pathway to Paris concerts are still on

The organisers and participants of the Pathways to Paris concerts, including SSG,  issued a statement following the attacks in Paris. “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.” An extra date on Saturday 5th December was also added before the attacks due to demand.  Ben and Jerry’s (yummy ice cream!) and United Nations Development Program also joined as official partners of the concerts.  For more information and tickets, see here.

Co-operatives urges world leaders to agree ambitious measures at COP21

As a workers co-operative, SSG has been working closely with the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) to illustrate the relationship between co-operatives and sustainability. At its general assembly in Antalya, Turkey, the ICA passed an emergency resolution urging  governments to agree to effective and ambitious measures to combat climate change in Paris and indicating that co-operatives will be an important vehicle in supporting these efforts. The members of the International Co-operative Alliance total one billion individual members in 2.5 million coops and employ 250 million people.

What needs to happen in Paris?

The former executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Yvo de Boer, says that Paris should have three core elements to achieve a successful agreement: “The first is to agree on a process to review the adequacy of commitments and their implementation…The second is to reach a compromise deal on finance…The third is to regularly review the process itself to think about how the international community can deliver on implementation.”

World Energy Outlook is [cautiously] optimistic for low carbon energy and renewables

IEA released their annual report World Energy Outlook, which provides 700 pages of influential forecasts on global energy trends.  Carbon Brief provided a comprehensive piece of analysis on the Outlook and here are some of our observations:

  1. Renewables capacity addition were at a record-high of 130 GW in 2014.
  2. Renewables will take over from coal as the primary source of electricity, 60 cents of every $1 of investment in energy over the next 25 years in renewables.
  3. Solar costs will fall by 40% between 2014 and 2040, although other analysts expect this drop will occur more quickly.
  4. Coal demand has peaked in China and will decline, resulting in a decoupling of energy demand and GDP.
  5. Now that coal is reduced in China, global usage of coal will diminish, allowing renewables to be more accessible and at a low cost will be the primary source of electricity in the 2030’s.

Sign up to a Paris agreement with one hand, and sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership with another

The TPP could limit a country’s ability to put in place any agreement it reaches at the Paris climate change summit because of concerns over lawsuits, according to Pierre-Yves Serinet, coordinator of the Quebec Network on Continental Integration. If a climate change policy interferes with a corporation’s business, under the terms of the recently signed, secretive TPP deal, the corporation could sue a state government. The terms climate change are even missing from the text.

New City-scale Energy, Emissions and Finance model launched

Check out our blog for our recent CityInSight webinar on the preview of our energy, emissions and finance model.  The official launch of the model will occur during the COP in Paris.

Featured Network: The Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network (WE CAN)

WE CAN International is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide to take action as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. They call upon previosu mobilisations: the Chipko Movement in India where women saved entire forests, the Suffrage Movement, the Rural Women’s movement and the Liberian Women’s Peace Movement. “There is a profound way women create an unstoppable force when we are united together. Women around the world are calling for system change and for that we endorse a rights-based approach to climate justice.”