Dr. Steffen Böhm and Siddhartha Dabhi’s new book, “Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets”, challenges claims about carbon markets and carbon offsetting schemes. The authors argue that these schemes haven’t significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and have actually worsened the problem. Download the book here .
Stephen Harper consistently maintains that climate change action cannot, and will not, stand in the way of Canada’s economic growth. Harper’s continued ignorance in climate change negotiations reminds us that his position is deeply influenced in the conservative, profit-driven mindset of oil and gas industries in Alberta. Read the full story at The Center for Public Integrity .
The Sunshine Coast town of Gibsons has earned an award for livability from the International Awards for Livable Communities. The award recognizes Gibsons’ sustainable development practices and a unique geo-exchange district energy system, which will use below-ground thermal energy to supply heat to residential and commercial buildings. Read the full story on Canada.com .
Zero GHG has a simple and easy-to-use emissions calculator. Click here to calculate GHG emissions from your home.
As of Sept.1, the European Union stopped manufacturing and importing incandescent lightbulbs and will turn to more energy-efficient bulbs. This move precedes the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen in December, which will significantly impact the success or failure of producing a binding global plan of action for the climate change crisis. Meanwhile in the READ MORE
The T’Sou-ke First Nation in Sooke has become the largest solar energy producing community in B.C. Solar energy will power a large portion of the community’s infrastructure and provide hot water tanks to a nearby village. The band aims to adopt more green initiatives in the future, and are looking at wind power and organic READ MORE
The Community Lifestyles Campagin targets the household and community level, and aims at establishing “EcoTeams” to work through the “EcoTeam Workbook”. EcoTeams are give the opportunity to become informed on topics such as waste reduction, energy efficiency and empowerment, and gain the tools necessary to act as sustainable community leaders. Read more about the campaign READ MORE
Half of B.C.’s most threatened rivers are at risk from “green energy projects” according to a report released from the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. In the absense of comprehensive provincial strategies, private run-of-river power proposals and urban and industrial development are threatening the health and biological integrity of sensitive river ecosystems. Read report here . READ MORE
At present, Alaska faces some of the highest fuel prices in the U.S. In an attempt to seek economic relief in this unstable time, numerous communities in Alaska have built wind turbine farms. This attempt has not only led to a decrease in household electricity bills, but has also reduced the use of fuel and energy on READ MORE
As part of an overall environmental stweardship objective, the school district of Richmond BC is currently working towards energy sustainability with the following goals in mind: Reduction of energy consumption Sourcing energy from clean renewable sources and Reducing the environmental impact of energy consumption. Read more here .
Ontario’s latest wind farm has just opened creating 70 new jobs and removing 300,000 tonnes of Greenhouse gases from the air every year. Ontario plans to replace coal-fired energy with wind by 2014. Read more in The Green Pages .
A guide for individuals and organizations contemplating purchasing offsets. This guide provides background information on carbon offset, including the downsides and benefits of their use, the basic features of credible offsets and a list of resources that can provide more information about carbon offsets.
In an effort to counter soaring gas prices and to keep employees happy, companies across North America are adopting the four day work week. The benefits to this restructuring of hours include more time for employees to be with their families, and less time spent commuting. Read more here.
Toronto is home to the second largest concentration of high-rise buildings in North America, with approximately 1000 in the GTA. Many of these towers are those less-than-attractive concrete slab buildings which were very popular in the 60s and 70s and were built on the “tower in the park” model, where each tower is surrounded by READ MORE
The Community Energy Association has just released its 2008 funding guide. Funding Your Community Energy Initiatives is a guide to funding and resources for local governments. Click here to see the guide.
The City of North Vancouver released its Greenhouse Gas Local Action Plan in February 2005. The Plan outlines how to reach the City’s interm target of a 20% corporate emissions reduction and a 6% community-wide emissions reduction by 2010. Focusing on building retrofits, new building design guidelines, Smart Growth land use planning, and transportation demand management, the City hopes to READ MORE
This guide, prepared by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Sheltair Group, lays out a vision of what ‘green infrastructure’ looks like. Green infrastructure means systems that are distributed, clustered, interconnected, integrated, service-oriented, responsive, renewable, low-imapct, appropriate, multi-purpose and finally, adaptable. The guide also explains the social, economic and environmental benefits of green infrastructure READ MORE
The District of Ucluelet and the District of Houston were the top winners at the 2007 Energy Aware Awards presented at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention on Sept. 27. Ucluelet won in the Community Planning & Development category, for its use of Smart Growth and compact development land use policies. Houston came out READ MORE
Dawson Creek won the 2006 Energy Aware Award for its community planning and implementation work. The Energy Aware Award is given by the Community Energy Association to the municipality or regional district that best incorporates energy awareness into its community plan. Winners are announced at the annual UBCM meeting.
The Community Energy Association provides information, news, and resources for local governments concerned with climate change and energy reduction and provides steps for how to deal with these issues. Click here to link to the Community Energy Association website.
With a focus on social planning, SPARC-BC engages in public education and research on a number of issues. These include accessibility, income security and community development. Local governments might be particularly interested in some of the services SPARC-BC offers, including community-based research and consulting. Click here to link to the SPARC-BC website.
This up-to-date guide from the Community Energy Association provides a clear and comprehensive list of financial and non-financial resources available to support local governments as they undertake energy planning, efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. Click here to download (PDF).
The City of Dawson Creek, a leader in community energy planning, has launched a new website dedicated to informing residents about the City’s sustainability initiative. The site includes detailed pages about the city’s Sustainability Plan, Community Energy, Solar Strategy, Recycling and Water. www.planningforpeople.ca
In February 2007, the District of Squamish adopted a 12-step pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The motion, brought forward by Councillor Patricia Heintzman, includes such initiatives as adopting anti-sprawl land use policies, improving building codes to make energy efficiency a priority, and increasing the use of renewable energy. Click here to download (pdf)