Archives for December 2015

Designing cities and buildings for drought resilience

An engineered wetland water treatment system at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission headquarters. Drought is challenging communities in California and much of the West to rethink how they use water. This time, communities are not looking to large, distant reservoirs but to micro-solutions distributed throughout urban landscapes. California has mandated a 25% reduction in water use […]

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Notes from COP 21: #icewatchparis

Twelve immense blocks of ice, harvested from free-floating icebergs in a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland, were arranged in clock formation on the Place du Panthéon, to melt symbolically during COP 21. This was an art installation by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing – it was eerie, beautiful, terrifying. A visceral and powerful reminder of why […]

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Mayor Garcetti releases LA Climate Action Report

Image courtesy of City of Los Angeles During the United Nations climate talks in Paris, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti attended the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, a gathering of more than 500 mayors and municipal representatives from 115 countries that celebrated the importance of city leadership in global climate protection efforts. In advance of […]

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Notes from COP 21: after the agreement

An historic agreement was reached in Paris on Saturday. One hundred and ninety-five nations agreed that we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and must work to keep the average global temperature rise to under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) from pre-industrial levels. Only one of the 196 nations attending, Nicaragua, objected on the basis […]

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Notes from COP 21: mayors leading the way

The side event program at COP 21 is full of speakers representing cities, whether in the Blue Zone (negotiations, special pass only), Green Zone (climate generation area, open to the public) or in the other events happening all over Paris. It is abundantly clear how important cities are to helping countries make significant progress towards […]

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Notes from COP 21: urban challenges and insights

This afternoon I listened to a brilliant panel discussion in the Cities and Regions Pavilion, this time organised by UNHabitat and Cities Alliance with panellists from Cities Alliance, OECD, Slum Dwellers International, the German and French National Governments, and City Mayors from South Africa and India. The panellists were all asked to give their perspectives on […]

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Notes from COP 21: role of companies and consumers

I arrived in Paris about a week into the global climate talks known as the 21st Conference of Parties or COP 21. The first week was marked with meetings and speeches by world leaders on the need for action and several announcements on efforts to fund clean energy development and adaptation. With the speeches over […]

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Notes from COP 21: tools and action

On Saturday I took part in a panel discussion titled ‘Global Tools and Strategies for Building Resilience’ at the Cities & Regions Pavilion of COP 21. It was hosted by the Medellin Collaboration on Urban Resilience (MCUR), with panelists from UNHabitat, ICLEI, C40, 100RC, UNISDR, UCCRN, and Mayors and/or chief resilience officers from Dakar, Panama City, and […]

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Notes from COP 21: Climate-KIC and Paris Velib

On Friday night, in the magnificent venue of Le Grand Palais (below), Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate change, celebrated three of its leading startups in the carbon reduction space and showcased others. This was just one of the hundreds of side events that make up the full experience of COP 21. Innovations […]

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Notes from COP 21: Green Climate Fund

At the Paris COP today, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) directors announced the approval of the organization’s first eight projects. These investments will provide US$168 million for greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate resiliency efforts in African, Latin American, and the Asian and Pacific island nations.  The projects range from investments in industrial-sector energy efficiency, […]

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