We are still waiting for 100% Renewable Energy

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While delegates are negotiating until late hours in Lima, we already know that the past two weeks signal an important shift in fighting climate change: For the first time in 20 years of climate negotiations, governments at the UN climate summit in Lima, Peru seriously discussed the need to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050. The phase out of fossil fuel emissions by mid-century was an idea that gained support from over 100 countries. [Read more →]

December 13, 2014   No Comments

Who’s calling the shots? Over 1 million add their voices to Keystone XL decision-making process

It’s a busy time for Canada.

Over a million US citizens oppose the Keystone XL proposal © 350.org

No, I am not talking about the Leafs making it to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2004. I am referring to the continued – and ramped up – lobbying efforts of the federal government to sell the Albertan oil sands abroad. Federal Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver was in Brussels last week attempting to convince the EU to relax its categorisation of oil sands crude as “dirty”. Minister of Environment Peter Kent followed in his footsteps across the pond and is in London this week to push for the same thing. Oliver has already been to D.C. four times since the beginning of this year to lobby US senators and members of Congress to support the Keystone XL pipeline proposal. Even the Prime Minister is joining in: Stephen Harper is in New York this week to pitch the oil sands first to the Council of Foreign Relations and then to Wall Street.

Hey, big spender!

Because despite claiming to be a fiscally conservative government, and despite cutting federal spending in major programmes (science and research, public broadcasting, environmental protection, pensions, employment insurance, the arts), millions of taxpayer dollars have been allocated to oil sands promotion with no end in sight. [Read more →]

May 17, 2013   2 Comments

5 cases of regenerative urbanisation

A new model of urbanisation, powered by renewable energy and defined by a regenerative, mutually beneficial relationship between cities, rural areas and ecosystems, is urgently needed. At the World Future Council we advocate going beyond sustainable cities to regenerative cities. The long term target for cities should be ‘regenerating’ the same amount of resources as they absorb. This refers to both their ecological footprint and the ecological burden of all materials used, for example, in buildings. Here are five examples where some aspect of regenerative urbanisation is already a reality.

1. Urban food and agriculture – Havana

© Toronto Green Community Garden

Producing food locally, even in an urban environment, means shorter transport routes and less processing and packaging. These parts of the value chain consume more than a third of all energy used for food production in the US. Limiting these activities can substantially reduce the carbon footprint of each meal. In response to severe shortages in food, pesticides and petroleum after the fall of the Soviet Union, Cubans began cultivating vegetables wherever they could, including lots in downtown Havana and other urban spaces throughout the island. The urban agriculture movement was first led by the people but [Read more →]

June 28, 2012   5 Comments