Saturday, November 30, 2013

Video - Nature's Beauty: Life is a Gift and the Only Appropriate Response is Gratefulness



Stunning time-lapse photography from Louie Schwartzberg, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast. "Nature is a life giving water if you only open your heart and drink."

Video - Gratitude for Nature (2012): Documentary Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg Tedx


Nature's beauty inspires gratitude. In this video Louie Schwartzberg addresses flowers and the fate of the bees which are so dependent on flowers. In the same way that the bees are dependent on flowers for their sustenance we are dependent on the bees to pollinate our crops.

Video - Thank the Bees for Your Thanksgiving Dinner


This is what a Thanksgiving meal would look like if we lost our pollinators. Bees are essential to so much of our agriculture. We must do all we can to protect them from human activities.

Video - Small Business Saturday Contributes to Sustainability



Small Business Saturday has been around for three years and in that time people are increasingly seeing the value of shopping at mom and pops instead of the big boxes. As explained in a Treehugger article,

"[T]he best tool for greening our lives is Urbanity- building communities that you can get around in without a car. Where you can get what you need within walking or biking distance. That's where small businesses come in to play. They are local, they support the community, and they make our main streets come alive."

Video - Gratitude for Nature (2011): Documentary Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg Tedx



Nature's beauty is the focus of the work of filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg. He is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer who captures breathtaking images that celebrate life — revealing connections, universal rhythms, patterns and beauty. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day.

Video - Thank You for Taking Action to Save the Climate!


While it may seem like a daunting task, people all over the world are working hard to save the climate from the ravages of global warming. People who have lived through climate disasters are giving thanks, people who are deeply concerned about the fate of our climate are giving thanks. This profusion of gratitude goes out to all those who do not succumb to hopelessness and strive to protect our planet from climate change.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Patagonia: A Model of Responsible Retail

Being a responsible consumer entails spending money in ways that attempt to minimize adverse impacts on people, the environment and society. But what is a responsible retailer? There are several good examples of companies who tirelessly advocate responsible consumerism, but none is better than outdoor apparel company Patagonia.

Patagonia has long been a champion of responsible retail. They ask consumers to consider the environmental impacts of their purchases. Rather than encourage people to buy more stuff, Patagonia has run adds asking people to buy what they really need.

Waste is an Unfortunate Thanksgiving Tradition

The holiday season represents a high point for retailers and a low point for the environment. There are two major things we can do to help minimize our impacts. The first is to be more mindful of purchasing behaviors and second is to do a better job of managing our waste. Waste is one of the biggest problems associated with the holidays. Waste is highly detrimental to the environment and according to the EPA, 32 million tons of plastic waste are generated yearly, 14 million tons of which are used in packaging. During the period from Thanksgiving to the New Year, Americans generate 25 percent more waste than average. This includes

Black Friday Purchasing Behaviors: Shopping Locally and Learning from the Great Recession of 2008

What can the environmentally conscious consumer do to be a more responsible shopper? One obvious thing we can do to help offset environmental impacts is to buy local. We may also benefit from reflecting on the implications of the economic meltdown of 2008. Black Friday is a fascinating conflagration of consumerism kicking off a spending frenzy worth more than $59 billion in 2012, which was up from $52.5 billion in 2011. To capitalize on this orgy of consumerism, retail outlets are opening earlier every year. This year many big box stores opened their doors on the Thursday prior to Black Friday. Just five years after the start of the Great Recession, consumers are battling each other in retail outlets to save a few dollars. This may be a good time of year to remember what happened in 2008 and why.

How to Green Your Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday is a consumer spectacle that is rife with excess and waste. However, there are some easy ways that we can reduce our environmental impacts. Here are five simple tips from FatWallet that can help to make your black Friday more green.  

1. Recycled Products: Try to find products that that are made from recycled or biodegradable materials. For example, several book publishers now only print books made from recycled paper.

2. Energy Efficient Electronics: When buying appliances and electronic devices, check for items that are rechargeable or energy-efficient. Look for the Energy Star logo.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Infographic - Thanksgiving: Staying Within 100 Miles and Other Tips from Sustainable America


Environmental Gratitude and Ecological Advocacy

Environmental gratitude is an approach that can help to inspire ecological action. We need a new way of communicating the urgency of environmental action because it is becoming increasingly apparent that standard fact-based approaches are not getting through.

Environmental gratitude encompasses an approach that engenders a full compliment of sentiments required to augur change. As reported in Psychology Today, gratitude is a complex feeling that is capable of expanding our awareness and relating us to the wider world.

The importance of gratitude to the ecological movement is reviewed in great depth in a 2011 paper by Reed Elizabeth Loder, titled “Gratitude and the Environment: Toward Individual and Collective Virtue.” Professor Loder is an accomplished ethicist who teaches at Vermont Law School.

A Thanksgiving Infused with Environmental Gratitude

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States and people across the nation are celebrating by coming together to give thanks. Traditionally Thanksgiving is the holiday long weekend when people get together to celebrate the bounty of the fall harvest. The Thanksgiving tradition takes us back to the early days when European settlers were first making North America home. They were welcomed by Native peoples who showed them how to live in harmony with the Earth.

With our environment in crisis we need to cultivate the spirit of thankfulness that helps us to rekindle a harmonious relationship to nature. Gratitude of this kind may be difficult but it is essential if we are to find the motivation and the courage to advance ecological action.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Harper Government's Tragic Environmental Record is Cause for National Shame

The environmental performance of Canada's ruling Conservative government is a source of national shame. Canada now ranks as one of the worst environmental abusers in the world. Under Stephen Harper, Canada's Conservative government has all but abandoned any pretense of environmental protections. This view is corroborated by a number of reports including one from Neil Maxwell, the interim commissioner of the environment and sustainable development. His report points to Canada's poor image on green issues.

Maxwell specifically referred to ‘the wide and persistent gap between what the government commits to do and what it is achieving’ and said the federal environment ministry has missed key deadlines to protect migratory birds, failed to protect wildlife habitat and has done nowhere near enough to protect species at risk.”

In addition to failing to meet its GHG reduction commitments, Canada's federal government has a long rap sheet of environmental abuse. This includes gutting environmental oversight, spending on dirty energy exploitation, killing environmental dissent, silencing climate scientists, withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol, withdrawal from UN efforts to combat desertification, and using Canada's intelligence services to spy on peaceful environmental groups.

Europe is Leading the Fight Against Climate Change

Despite its ongoing economic woes and high unemployment, Europe has shown that it is serious about tackling climate change. They have demonstrated leadership on the level of individual nation states and in terms the EU as a whole.

According to the Climate Change Performance Index, the top ten climate change fighting nations are European and eight of those ten countries are part of the European Union. The rankings are based on countries greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, emissions-reduction efforts, energy efficiency, renewable energy portfolios, and policies aimed at slowing climate change.

Europe is putting their money where their mouth is. The European Parliament has adopted a seven-year budget that includes an unprecedented $243 billion for climate projects which will be invested both in Europe and go towards aid for developing countries.

Infographic - Extreme Weather: A Survival Guide

Coping With Extreme Weather: A Survival Guide

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Infographic - Countries with the Largest Dirty Energy Expansion by 2020




Best and Worst Nations at Combating Climate Change (2014)

A new index ranks nations from best to worst on their efforts to combat climate change. The top ten on this list are comprised exclusively of European countries. It is interesting to note that some of the nations near the bottom of this list (Australia, Canada, Japan and China) are also responsible for derailing progress at the most recent COP 19 climate negotiations in Warsaw.

The list of 58 countries is called the Climate Change Performance Index [PDF], it is produced by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe. The rankings are based on countries greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, emissions-reduction efforts, energy efficiency, renewable energy portfolios, and policies aimed at slowing climate change.

Here are the top ten:

Infographic: Countries Industries and Corporations Cumulative GHG Contributions

New research provides a cumulative summary of the nations and industries that are responsible for climate change causing greenhouse gases (GHGs). Richard Heede is a scientist who has studied historic cumulative carbon emissions from 90 carbon producers. His research has been published in a paper called "Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854-2010." This peer reviewed study has been published in the journal Climatic Change.

COP 19 Summary: The Good the Bad and the Ugly

After a 24 hour extension of COP 19 the Warsaw climate summit concluded on Saturday evening with a deal to help vulnerable countries cope with the impacts of more frequent and intense extreme weather events and a compromise agreement setting out a roadmap towards a global treaty in 2015 in Paris. However, the language in the final agreement from COP 19 was weak, some countries have backpedaled and there are ongoing disagreements between rich and poor nations.

The Good

We have seen some progress on a number of fronts and Ministers said that there had been "essential progress" and they indicated that "key objectives" had been met. Here is a summary of the progress:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Place in the Natural World

This event will take place on Thursday Nov 28, 2013, at Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue (at Bank Street), Ottawa, Ontario at 7 PM.
 
What IS the natural world trying to tell us ? Are we listening? What can be learned from trees? Are we ready ? Is it time to start rewilding the planet?

The speakers will be J.B. Mackinnon and Diana Beresford-Kroeger - Ottawa International Writers Festival.

These are two of Canada's most exciting writers and ecological thinkers. They will explore our relationship with nature and the ways we can meaningully re-connect with the world around us.

Showcasing Progress: Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities

The UNFCCC secretariat showcased some positive actions in the areas of innovative finance, women and the urban poor. The Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities were showcased at the Conference of the Parties and the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

Momentum for Change provides a public platform to highlight broad-ranging climate change actions that are already achieving tangible results on the ground. By shining light on inspiring and transformational mitigation and adaptation activities, Momentum for Change aims to strengthen motivation, spur innovation and catalyse further change towards a low-emission, high resilient future.

Guide for Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy

The Guide for Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy provides guidelines for business to communicate effectively, responsibly and transparently. It is designed to help companies to manage and report on their direct and indirect influences on climate policy. In addition to guidance, the report also makes a compelling business case for responsible corporate engagement in the climate arena. This guide and report was produced by  the UN Global Compact, in cooperation with seven leading international organizations.

The Guide to Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy is the result of research and interviews with more than 75 business and policy leaders from more than 60 organizations across 20 countries. It was highlighted on November 19 at a special session of the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum during COP19 in Warsaw.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Event - Kuwait WaterTech Conference & Exhibition

Kuwait WaterTech Conference &  Exhibition will take place on December 4 - 5, 2013 at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Resorts in Safat, Kuwait. The Middle East is one of the most water-scarce regions in the world. The region’s challenge is twofold. On one hand, natural water resources are close to zero, and on the other, water consumption rates in the GCC region are one of the highest in the world.

Event - Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit 2013: Fueling Growth and Innovation

This event will take place Monday December 2 to Wednesday Dec 4, 2013, at the Centre Sheraton in Montreal Montreal, Quebec. Canada is now a frontrunner in the worldwide effort to create clean, renewable sources of transportation fuel. The benefits of this approach are many. From an economic standpoint, our industry generates $2 billion in economic activity each and every year and has created more than 14,000 jobs in total – most of those in rural Canada. At the same time, renewable fuels production will help to reduce GHG emissions by over 4.2 mega-tonnes. This is the equivalent of taking over 1 million cars off the road each and every year.

Event - Clean and Cool 2013

This event will take place from November 30 to December 7, 2013 in Colorado. Clean and Cool Mission Colorado is an entrepreneur mission to help the UK’s most promising early stage and innovative cleantech SMEs do business in the US faster.

Event - NREL's Industry Growth Forum 2013

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will present the 26th Industry Growth Forum December 3 – 4, 2013. The Industry Growth Forum is the premier event for clean energy startups to maximize their exposure to receptive venture capital, corporate investors, and strategic partners.

The 26th Annual Industry Growth Forum will feature presentations from 30 emerging clean energy companies, provocative panels led by thought leaders, one-on-one meetings, and organized networking opportunities. Since the Forum began, it has grown to be the perfect venue for growing companies to prepare, refine, and present their businesses to a wide range of investors. Each year, the best presenters are awarded cash prizes and commercialization services from NREL. This focus on clean energy innovation is having an impact on the industry—since 2003, the presenting prototype, pre-commercial, and expanding cleantech companies who have presented have collectively raised more than $5 billion in growth financing. Announcing the 30 presenting companies.

Video - Could 300 Billion Worth of Trees Remediate Climate Change?



"We know that we are living in a way that is unsustainable," says Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall. Smit wonders whether $300 billion US dollars worth of trees planted across the sub-Saharan latitudes and into India could be sufficient to remediate climate change.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Video - Russian Special Forces Assault on The Arctic Sunrise and Arrest of the Crew



Here is some previously unseen footage shows which records the moment the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was boarded and seized by Russian security agents in international waters on September 19. The footage shows Greenpeace International activists and crew responding peacefully with arms raised and how the ship was subsequently towed to the port of Murmansk. The crew is now facing charges of Hooliganism.

Video - COP 19 Strategies: Walkouts, Sanctions and Eco-Socialism



Professor Patrick Bond considers the best strategies to make progress on the climate crisis at COP 19. He questions the utility of developing countries, civil society and 132 green groups walking out of the COP process to protest inaction on climate finance, Loss and Damage and the Green Climate Fund. He argues that sanctions may be a better strategy ("hitting polluters in the wallet"). He also questions whether capitalism is the best economic system to manage the climate crisis. In Warsaw the techniques of capitalism were reviewed and some questioned whether this system is capable of meeting the challenges we face. Bond argues that an eco-socialist approach may be required.

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Video - Walkouts Over Inaction on Climate Finance, Green Climate Fund and Loss and Damage



In addition to mitigation and adaptation we need to see a mechanism on Loss and Damage to compensate poor countries who are already suffering from climate change. Developing countries who are the largest contributors to climate change refuse to accept their responsibilities. Australia, Canada and the US refused to accept a new mechanism to manage Damage and Loss. This prompted the G77, a coalition of developing action, to walkout of COP 19 along with green groups and civil society. UN, U.N., United Nations, Conference of the Parties, negotiations, action, climate change, global warming, global, international, agreement, UNFCCC

Video - COP 19: Wealthy Nations Refuse to Help the Developing World Manage Climate Change



Negotiators at COP 19, the United Nations Convention on climate change in Warsaw Poland, have failed to make progress on finance and funding to help the developing world to manage climate change.

Video - Business Needs to do More to Reduce Emissions - Godot Paralysis


In this Oct 18, 2013 video, Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN framework convention said that Businesses are not doing enough to reduce their emissions and they cannot wait for policy perfection (Godot Paralysis). We have no other option but to move forward, we need to show courage. We need to invest in green technologies which could provide growth and jobs. We need moral courage, it is not just about governments taking the lead. We must stand up and assume our responsibilities. The consequences of continuing to burn fossil fuels are known, everyone who does not address this is abdicating their responsibilities to a much more stable productive future.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Infographic - Extreme Weather Impacts Those Who Contribute the Least Climate Change Causing Emissions



Shameful Nations at COP 19: Poland, Japan, Australia and Canada

Poland, Japan, Australia, and Canada are disgracing themselves COP 19 through their resistance to reduce emissions, and their lack of support for climate finance.

Host country Poland staged an international coal conference alongside the UN climate negotiations. This has prompted many to call COP 19 “the coal COP” and it earned Poland a “fossil of the day award.”

Canada announced that it will be unable to meet its CO2 emissions reduction goals. (In 2011, Canada, along with Russia and Japan announced their withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol).

COP 19: Nothing But Bad News at the End of Week One

As the first week comes to a close there was no good news out of the UN sponsored COP 19 process taking place in Warsaw. No progress on carbon mitigation and no progress on finance. Japan announced it was going to increase its emissions and wealthy countries ignored the issue of climate finance and assistance for countries affected by climate change. There was no movement on efforts to put markets to work and the only small consolation was in the area of technology transfer, although there were no agreements. Here is a succinct review of COP 19 as of the end of Week one

Due to Japan's decision to put an end to nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster, the country's emissions cuts have been substantially reduced. Japan's new 2020 target represent an increase of 3 percent in emissions vs. 1990, (however they were positioned as a decrease of 3.8% vs. 2005 emissions). In real terms this means the nation's CO2 emissions reduction target has been reduced from 25 percent to 3.8 percent.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Winners of the 2013 Green Supply Chain Awards

In mid-November, Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine announced their green award winners for 2013. Companies were selected based on their inculcation of sustainability into their supply chain strategy. These companies have demonstrated measurable sustainability goals within their own operations and/or supply chains, in the areas of Sourcing/Procurement, Fulfillment/Logistics, Operations, Product Lifecycle Management and other areas of the supply chain.

Walkouts and Hunger Strikes Draw Attention to Inaction at COP 19

This year's climate negotiations in Warsaw are being defined by what is not getting done as to opposed what is being achieved. Many are despondent over the lack of progress while others are apoplectic. While some have decided to launch hunger strikes in protest others simply walked out.

First the Philippine's climate delegate Yeb Saño announced that he had embarked on a hunger strike to protest inaction at COP 19 then others at the conference joined him. Now more than one thousand people around the world have formally declared that they are also fasting for climate justice.

One of the hunger strikers, Wael Hmaidan, international director of the Climate Action Network has not eaten in 10 days. “It is not hard at all to fast completely, when you are driven by passion for a cause,” Hmaidan said. Click here to see his 52-page list of demands [PDF]. As Hmaidan wrote, “there is no political will" at COP 19.

Infographic - Growing Belief in Global Warming by State (Even Among Republicans!)

A growing number of Americans now accept the science of climate change and they are calling for action to combat it. Even those that belong to the Republic party -- traditionally a bastion of climate denial -- are coming to terms with the veracity of global warming. As reported in the Guardian, a new study from Stanford University social psychologist Jon Krosnick shows  "a vast majority of red-state Americans believe climate change is real and at least two-thirds of those want the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions."

Young Reporters for the Environment

Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) is an international program that engages youth in environmental journalism in more than 25 countries around the world. The program is coordinated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

Young Reporters investigate environmental and sustainability issues and propose solutions through written, photographic and video journalism. Participants submit their work to a national competition for judging. Each country then sends its top article, photograph and video in each age category to an international competition, where additional honors are awarded.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Business Sustainability Tips from Accor's Planet 21 Program

Have you decided to green your business? Excellent decision, but where do you start? While recycling paper, using less electricity, and carpooling may be obvious sustainable options for some, Accor’s Planet 21 program offers more creative options for your business.

Office decor is the last thing people think of when it comes to sustainable business. However, repurposing items to liven up your office is a great way to give back to the environment. Some Accor hotels reuse old tires as pots to hold fresh plants. Old bricks and wood can also be reused for tables, pots, and wall decorations. Looking for something a little more green? Check out Accor Novotel Auckland Airport’s living wall. This wall is adorned with native fauna, creating a beautiful aesthetic and bringing added benefits as well. Living walls are said to clean indoor air quality in the office space, especially of pollution that stems from printers.

White Paper - The Logistics, Carbon and Business Data Book

The Logistics, Carbon and Business Data Book: Fall 2013 Sustainability Trends provides sustainability executives, decision-makers, and research teams a collection of charts presenting logistics, sustainability and sustainable business-driven data. The goal of this 31 page white paper is to gather together the essential information and metrics about sustainable business for corporate teams.

Environmental Leader assembles the data and research in this summary report for executives and corporate sustainability teams to utilize in their planning and decision making. A collection of 19 charts covering the important metrics in the specific areas of Sustainable Strategy, Green Fleets, Sustainable Energy, and Energy & Carbon Management.

Courses - Wind Power Finance School

Wind Power Finance School will take place on 25—29 November 2013 in Hong Kong. Two integrated courses, led by an experienced industry expert and providing a thorough and practical insight into the money side of the wind business from financial principles to wind project funding, modelling & risk/return analysis

Worldwide wind power generation installed capacity grew by 19 per cent in 2012 to a total of 282 GW (source: Global Wind Energy Council) and is expected to break through the 300GW mark during 2013. Although new installation growth is expected to slow from its early, giddy heights in markets such as Europe and the US, regions such as Africa, Asia and South America provide on-going opportunities for the industry to continue its development path. Even where new wind farm installation slows, trends such as repowering and optimisation will continue to be important in driving returns and valuations for operating wind farm assets.

COP 19: Progress Needed on the Green Climate Fund

Climate delegates representing poor and developing countries are asking wealthier nations to honor their commitments and support climate finance and the Green Climate Fund in particular. They require financial help to deal with extreme weather events alongside assistance to reduce their carbon emissions. Given the fact that the developed world is largely responsible for current levels of atmospheric carbon, it stands to reason that they should be ready to aid the developing world to manage the climate crisis.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Course - Introduction to Financial Models and Metrics for Renewable Energy

This course takes place on 25—26 November 2013, London, UK (Day 1: 09:00 - 17:00 // Day 2: 09:00 – 16.00). It enables participants to learn the basic principles required to read and understand financial statements and performance, and create models to analyse cash flows, business performance and investment returns. 

Course description Aimed specifically at those with limited or no prior exposure to financial statements, this excellent and time effective course demystifies all the key financial terminologies and enables attendees to build simple financial models from the ground up. Learn to speak the language of finance!

The focus is on the aspects of financial modelling of most relevance in renewable and other energy organisations, both in terms of the topics covered and the case studies used to illustrate the taught principles. The course provides an excellent foundation or revision before more advanced financial planning courses, or simply an invaluable introduction to the essentials of finance for those in non-financial job roles.

Five Webinars - RecycleMania 2014

Here are five webinars for RecycleMania 2014.  The RecycleMania Tournament is a competition designed to help schools to recycle and minimize waste. The competition enables participants to track their trash and recycling collections over an 8 week period in the spring of 2014.

Tournament Overview - November 21, 2013 at 3:00 EST

This high level presentation will review 1) how schools participate in RecycleMania and 2) resources and special promotions for the 2014 program. Join us for the full webinar if you're interested in RecycleMania and want to know what is involved, or jump on at 3:30 if you’re a returning coordinator just looking for an update on the coming year. This program will only address rules and promotional strategies in general terms.

Business is Being Prominently Highlighted at COP 19

COP 19 is focusing unprecedented attention on the business community. This is not merely a cosmetic attempt to be more inclusive, this is a common sense approach that acknowledges the critical importance of the business community. The business community can be both a tremendous ally and a powerful source of opposition. Getting them onside, or in some cases out of the way, is critical to meaningful climate action.

The role of business in managing the climate crisis cannot be overstated. UNFCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres has made it emphatically clear that the business community has a critical role to play. The recent Warsaw Business Day, Sustainable Innovation Forum and Caring for Climate events all highlight the role of business alongside the COP process.

World Climate Summit - Warsaw Business Day at COP 19: WBCSD and World Climate Forum for Business

On the 17th and 18th of November, 2013, a first time event took place that was the largest collaborative platform for businesses to discuss action on climate solutions. These event brought together business, global institutions and government leaders to discuss solutions, actions and policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The event was focused on solutions and policies to avert the impacts of global warming. It was supported by a global coalition of the world's most influential corporations, institutions and media organizations. The forum focused on business solutions, and addressed climate finance and other cooperative actions.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cities Day: High Level Segment of COP19/CMP9

November 21 is “Cities Day."  The day will bundle a number of events by a variety of partners, including a historical COP Presidency Cities and Subnational Dialogue that will be conducted as a Ministerial-Mayoral Dialogue.

The Ministerial-Mayoral Dialogues will be kicking-off a process in Warsaw to be concluded in Paris 2015 can be considered as the direct and immediate immediate implementation of the Nantes Declaration of Mayors and Subnational Leaders on Climate Change adopted in September 2013, in particular its para.8 and 10.

A broad compilation of all events related to local and subnational governments at COP19/CMP9, including “Warsaw Dialogue on Scaling Up Local and Subnational Action” hosted by City of Warsaw and Polish Ministry of Environment on 20 November.

Businesses Increasingly Adopting Zero Waste to Landfills Programs

Here are a few examples of zero waste to landfill programs. Low or zero waste policies and programs diminish landfill use. As landfills are also a potent source of methane emissions, some companies are putting these sites to use by utilizing these emissions as fuel. 

Landfills have been closing across the US. This includes the recent closure of Puente Hills, which is the largest landfill site in the US. This site has been closed after 56 years of operation.

Companies like Hershey are converting their plants so that they produce no waste destined for landfills. Hershey already has six plants that have achieved zero-waste-to-landfill (ZWL) status. Honda is another company that has converted the vast majority of its North America based plants to zero waste to landfill facilities. Zero waste to landfill is not a new phenomenon, as of 2012, Kraft already had 36 facilities in 13 countries that sent zero waste to landfills.

Sustainable Innovation Forum 2013: Business Event Alongside COP 19

Sustainable Innovation Forum 2013 is a premier business and government event and it will take place on November 20. This is the largest and most influential conference alongside the official COP19 process. The event will bringing together leaders from business, government and international NGOs to provide insight and share best practice on a range of discussion areas including low carbon infrastructures, clean technology innovation, the green economy and sustainable urban development. This event will be hosted by Climate Action in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Caring for Climate Forum: Highlighting the Role of Business

In cooperation with the COP19/CMP9 taking place in Warsaw, a Forum will be held that emphasizes the role of businesses in helping to address the issue of climate change.

Launched by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, “Caring for Climate” is the UN Global Compact, the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) initiative aimed at advancing the role of business in addressing climate change. It provides a framework for business leaders to advance practical solutions and help shape public policy as well as public attitudes. Chief executive officers who support the statement are prepared to set goals, develop and expand strategies and practices, and to publicly disclose emissions as part of their existing disclosure commitment within the UN Global Compact framework, that is, the Communication on Progress. Caring for Climate is endorsed by over 350 companies from 50 countries.

Hope for Climate Finance and Why We Can't Give Up on UN Climate Talks

Despite the expectation that we will see progress on climate finance, there are a number of people who are cynical about the outcome of COP 19. Every year around this time, as we settle in for UN climate talks, an army of pundits come out and tell us why we will not see anything of great consequence from the negotiations. They usually end up being right, even if their attitudes are dead wrong.

With current atmospheric carbon readings around 400 parts per million, it is not hard to see why they are so pessimistic. Concentrations of CO2 have increased by 40 percent since pre-industrial times and global average temperatures have risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit) since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. WMO secretary general Michel Jarraud recently indicated that growing levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) mean “our climate is changing, our weather is more extreme, ice sheets and glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising.” Given our current trajectory, temperatures are set to increase well beyond the upper threshold of 2C (3.7 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Event - AIEA Conference 2013

The AIEA Conference 2013 will take place on the 28th and 29th of November 2013 in Perth Western Australia. Environment Accounting (EA) is separate from financial accounting. EA is an emerging discipline that involves the practice of accounting for all the contributing factors that result in an impact on the environment. EA has a growing body of knowledge and a small number of qualified practitioners who face many challenges in improving the quality of techniques and technologies supporting this new discipline. EA is necessary to provide veracity & confidence in environmental reports and spans all levels of reporting – Statutory and voluntary, Corporate and Government.

Event - The 2nd World Intelligent Cities Summit and Exhibition (WICS 2013)

The 2nd World Intelligent Cities Summit and Exhibition, which will be held on the 27th – 28th November 2013 in Istanbul, Türkey. Future development of cities and regions will require the intelligent integration of communications technology, coupled with changing behaviour in how we use this technology, to make our cities and regions smarter and more energy efficient.

This event is designed to help municipalities and regions of all sizes drive innovation, boost efficiency, leverage data, upgrade service delivery and achieve economic prosperity. 

With technological innovations transforming governance, and how citizens, businesses and public institutions interact with each other, it is crucial for you to understand the tools, processes and models required to cultivate “smart” communities and cities. Speakers and attendees in disciplines ranging from science and technology to planning and economic development will present cutting edge strategies to strengthen institutional efficiency, and assess broader commitments to competitiveness and sustainability.

Event - Risky Business: Empowering People with Environmental Information

This event will take place on November 27, 2013, 08:30 - 16:40 at the Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, London, UK. Risky Business: Empowering People with Environmental Information brings you the most up-to-date information on legislation and regulation that affects environmental due diligence.

Expert speakers from all areas of the field will provide an insight into the current landscape and recent developments within the industry whilst providing practical guidance to ensure you are doing all you can to help your clients and yourself.

Risky Business provides a forum for delegates to question key industry decision makers on recent hot topics affecting the industry and network with colleagues from other environmental and property businesses.

Event - Rethink Sustainability Initiatives (RSI): Action Partners

This event will take place on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 10:30am to 3:30pm at MaRS Discovery District, 101 College St., Toronto. Rethink Sustainability Initiatives (RSI) is where leaders who care about sustainability can learn from experts and the real-time experience of their peers – to build it successfully into their businesses — via interactive events, think tanks, publications and other means.

A special keynote presentation and lunch meeting with Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room COO Peter Boyd. In addition to delivering a keynote presentation, Peter Boyd will also be participating in the open forum Leaders Circle with Daniels Carbon, Lafarge, KPMG and other action partners. This diverse group of leaders will share their expertise and commitment to addressing key sustainability challenges facing our environment. Their discussions will focus on actionable ideas and solutions to reducing carbon emissions, as well as strengthening the resilience and future readiness of buildings and cities – throughout the supply chain and beyond.

Event - Beyond the Echo Chamber: Challenges & Innovations in Climate Communications

This event will take place on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST) in Room 517 of Hamilton Hall of Columbia University, New York, NY. (The building is located on campus, near the corner of 116th St and Amsterdam. Take the 1 train to 116th Street Columbia University stop, enter through the main gates, and follow the arrows to find Hamilton Hall. Detailed driving directions along with alternate transportation options and parking can be found on the Columbia University website).

Beyond the Echo Chamber: Challenges &  Innovations in Climate Communications is presented by Sustainability Media Lab. The event asks the question, "How can we communicate climate change better and more broadly?"

Columbia's Sustainability Media Lab is excited to present a panel discussion on the current state of climate communications. Often, news and information about climate change get stuck in the "echo chamber", only reaching an audience already interested & informed about the topic. A panel of climate communicators from a diverse range of organizations will share their insights on how to push this critical issue into the mainstream.

Event - Sustainable Ag Expo

The 9th Sustainable Ag Expo will take place on November 18-19, 2013 at the Madonna Inn Expo Center in San Luis Obispo, California.

This event provides a unique opportunity for farmers, ag professionals, and pest control advisors representing a variety of operations to learn about the latest in farming research, resource issues, and business trends related to sustainable agriculture. This two-day educational meeting provides ample continuing education credits, an innovative trade show, and an exhibitor showcase.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Video - Naderev Saño's Emotional Speech at COP 19/CMP 9 in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan



Philippines delegate Naderev (Yeb) Saño made a passionate speech on behalf of those who have died and those who are suffering in the wake of Typhoon Hiayan. He pleaded with the world to take immediate, drastic action to reduce climate change-causing greenhouse gases. During this emotional speech at the UN's climate meeting in Warsaw, he announced his decision to fast for the climate until a meaningful outcome is in sight. "We can fix this, we can stop this maddness" Sano concluded.

Video - Naderev Saño's Passionate and Prophetic Plea at the 2012 Doha Climate Talks



Last year Naderev Saño, the lead negotiator for the Philippines made an impassioned plea for action at the 2012 UN Climate Conference in Doha. Saño, could not hold back his tears as he made an appeal for real action on climate change. Although he was speaking after Typhoon Bopha struck the Philippines in 2012, in light of Typhoon Haiyan this year, his words are prophetic.

Video - What we Can Expect from COP 19/CMP 9



On the first day of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres briefed the media on what will be the main focus of the negotiations over the coming two weeks. She mentions the science of AR5 and extreme weather events including Typhoon Haiyam.

"That points us to the need for urgent action and reminds us that we must get to global peaking of emissions this decades and to zero net emissions by the second half of this century," Figueres said.

Video - Greenpeace Global Day of Action to Free the Arctic 30



On November 16 people around the world will gather to speak out at events demanding the release of the Arctic 30. These 28 activists and two journalists have been imprisoned in Russia for staging a protest against a Gazprom drilling platform in the Arctic.

Video - Defend Our Climate Defend Our Communities



Saturday, November 16th 2013 is a day of national action where Canadians are standing up to defend our climate and our communities from the dangers of the ruling Conservative's obsession with dirty energy. More than 125 events are taking place across the country.

Video - Recycling: Let Garbage Live Again



In recognition of America Recycles Day here is a video sponsored by Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council. It aims to generate awareness, explain how and where to recycle, mobilize individual ownership and emotional connection to recycling through community building, and transform recycling into a daily social norm. The campaign shows consumers that their recyclable materials want to be something more, and promotes recycling as a way to give garbage another life.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Simple Recycling Tips for Offices and Workplaces

Almost everything we use in our offices can be recycled, including printed paper, used ink cartridges, empty cartons and old computers and printers. Here are 5 simple tips from the Green Business Bureau to help your business to recycle:

1. Find a recycling center near you (click here)

2. Place clearly labeled recycling bins around the office. Provide separate bins for plastic, metal, glass and paper if your recycling system is not single-stream.

3. Place bins strategically. Easily accessible recycling bins are more likely to be used. Place a paper-recycling bin near the printer and aluminum/plastic/glass recycling bin in kitchen and break room.

Businesses Innovative and Diverse Recycling Efforts

There are a number of recycling campaigns in companies across the US and around the world. Some of the campaigns represent traditional tried and true approaches, others are far more novel. For years now Target has been supporting recycling throughout their 1,740 US stores. Their recycling stations accept aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers, plastic bags, MP3 players, cell phones and ink cartridges.

In October, Johnson & Johnson launched a unique bathroom recycling initiative called CARE TO RECYCLE™.  Many Americans are not even aware that bathroom products can be recycled. As revealed by a Shelton Group poll, recycling in the bathroom is uncommon with less than half (40 percent) of Americans indicating that they recycle bathroom items.While 7 out of 10 Americans say they always or almost always recycle, only 1 in 5 Americans consistently recycle in the bathroom. This can have a major impact on the environment: Each year, Americans throw away enough 15-oz. shampoo bottles to fill 1,164 football fields—that’s 18,000 tons of plastic ending up in landfills. To help increase the recycling of bathroom products, Johnson partnered with several organizations, including Recyclebank, Keep America Beautiful, Earth 911 and Net Impact. 

Canadian Anti-Oil Event: Defend Our Climate, Defend Our Communities

On November 16, Canadians are coming together to say "no" to the Harper government's dirty energy plans. The Conservative government's fossil fuel obsession has devastating environmental consequences and the tar sands are a leading source of global warming causing greenhouse gases. This Saturday, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will resist the Canadian government's unbridled exploitation of dirty energy. Communities are taking action to strive towards a better future. Help build a united wall of opposition to pipelines, reckless tar sands expansion and runaway climate change at local events across the country.

Over 100 events are planned for the day. Click here to see a map that reviews events in your community. Use this map to find a rally close to you, then be sure to RSVP so we can keep you updated.