Vitoria Gasteiz is a very compact city of 250,000 people and because of its geographical density you are never more than three kilometres from downtown, no matter where you live. But in spite of its compact form, Vitoria-Gasteiz used to have a twelve-lane roadway that ran right through its heart. Then planners did something other cities only talk about.
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As the dust settles on COP21 we know that while historic steps have been taken, the demands of justice are still unfulfilled. Together we are challenging the fossil fuel system, we are ushering in the era of solutions, and we are moving the political yardsticks of what it possible. While our political leaders walk, our movements run.
If the warming of this planet is to be slowed -- if not halted -- it will not come about by government fiat, nor should it. Governments are reluctant to impose unpopular measures and the corporate sector will resist attempts to curtail our freedom to consume. The impetus must come from citizens.
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Canada has a rare opportunity, indeed an obligation, to be a world leader in the conservation of natural habitat and by doing so to contribute directly to the fight against climate change. Conservation of our natural ecosystems is integral to any effective Canadian strategy to slow climate change and to mitigate its effects. Significant scientific evidence shows that the destruction and clearing of forests, grasslands and wetlands, in addition to the burning of fossil fuels, has resulted in a substantial increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere.
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have such a grand, evocative ring, and they include a goal on energy, a huge concern for everyone's future. So what does the goal ask for -- and can we meet it?
The meeting is a key opportunity for international leaders to reach agreement on next steps: an agreement that should be ambitious, pushing us further along the path of emissions reductions; an agreement that is legally binding; and one which is supported by regular defined reviews to help tie us to our commitments.
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The engagement of faith communities in the work of climate justice is important as it brings added dimension -- both moral and spiritual -- to an issue once considered the purview of environmental science alone. As institutions of faith, churches have significant resources at their disposal.
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Our greatest obstacle to transitioning to a more sustainable future is the systemic inertia of the status quo. The simple act of pumping gas is a habitual, automatic behaviour that has been normalized for several generations. Complacent, disconnected markets don't drive change. While we may not be actively saying, "Give me oil," we have the perfect downstream environment to perpetuate the status quo.
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On December 4, over a thousand mayors from around the world will meet in Paris to accelerate the work of local governments on climate change. Many Ontario mayors attending this event will arrive with a starting advantage.
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Curbing fossil fuel use, China's leaders understand, would dampen its already faltering growth and provide an existential threat to their rule. While they may talk a good game at the UN's Paris talks, they will make no binding commitments to reduce C02.
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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." To see that quote brought to life we went to Cochrane High School in Cochrane, Alberta about a half-hour west of Calgary.
While the leaders of the world meet in Paris and craft sweeping policy that affects the entire planet, let's remember that the most important changes usually happen close to home. I've seen the positive things solar and energy efficiency can do for communities. So when we started a big infrastructure refurbishment project at Evansdale Community League, I knew exactly what to push for.
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Under no net loss, the loss of one acre of habitat displaced by development is replaced with one acre of the same habitat. In theory, we should end up with the same features and functions as we had before, and have no loss. Unfortunately, no net loss rarely works this way.
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Without the forest and the economic activity it generates, the North Shore, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and all the other forest regions of Quebec would not have experienced the same level of economic development that has benefited all Quebecers. However, forestry activity could fall sharply in the fairly near future.
Modern agricultural practices are the only reason the earth can feed more than seven billion souls while still leaving any room for nature. By returning to our pastoral roots we risk setting back environmental progress while negatively affecting human and ecological health.
If you want change; be the change. Remember the power of one. If you don't do anything, nothing will change. So do something. Our future depends on it. No act is too small. How will you contribute?
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Women's organizations, governments and United Nations entities celebrated the 15th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325. This landmark resolution stated that women's participation, security and protection were essential in the prevention and resolution of armed conflict. This resolution was much heralded at the time and was followed by seven additional resolutions on women, peace and security. However, civil society organizations have observed again and again that these strong words have not been translated into action.
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The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a commitment ratified by the United Nations and 193 signatory states -- the largest participation since the UN's inception. These SDGs are not about environmentalism; they're about the sustainable direction of the world -- be it social, socio-economic, or environmental.
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Today we know that the state of the planet affects the way we are doing business. With climate change comes risks and opportunities. We all know the risks. The opportunity for brands starts with marketing leadership, and the reward is an improved brand and reputation.
I've never considered myself an environmentalist. Sure, I care about the environment, I sort my garbage and turn off the lights as soon as I leave a room, but an environmentalist? I don't wear clothin...
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To improve well-being everywhere, we need to find ways of using resources efficiently, generating less waste and enabling a more equitable standard of living worldwide. More than the other Goals, sustainable consumption and production patterns requires changes in society and culture -- changes in how we think.
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It's possible to extract resources with attention to environmental consequences, but unless it's done in ways that ensure the planet remains healthy enough to support human life, where all people enjoy peace, health and food security, can it really be called sustainable?
Almost all of our communication about climate change and sustainability is about how bad things are going to get if we don't change our ways -- floods, droughts, crop failures, coastal cities underwater and so on. All the evidence of how we are screwing things up can overload people, but when they see a new world arriving that might be better than the old one, they get excited.
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While not always top of mind in traditional brand assessments, a company's real estate holdings can be one of the most meaningful and concrete representations of its brand. Office buildings define skylines, shape cities' personalities and transform neighbourhoods. In doing so, they have tremendous potential to exhibit the true essence of a company's brand.
Do you rock skinny jeans and dark-rimmed glasses on a near-daily basis? Or are you someone who's passionate about the environment and sustainability? If so, you're probably interested in what Canadian universities are doing to foster and support these sub-cultures.
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Food security, health care, drinking water, and reliable infrastructure are things that all Canadians should enjoy, but many in the north do not. WWF-Canada looks forward to working with stakeholders to bring Canada's UN Sustainable Development Goals to life.
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Considering the environment never receives much discussion around election time, it should come as no surprise that the topic of urban tree cover is buried deep in the forest of political discourse, under a layer of heavy brush. However, I believe a big part of our national identity is tied to the environment, and our leaders should strive to improve the health of our communities and the Canadians who live in them.
With each startup event that happens throughout the year, we are standing a little taller as a community, being a little more innovative and getting back to the business of hard work. That's the defining factor: When things don't come easy, we work harder. For me, that's the startup culture in Vancouver.
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I'm the girl who believes that the planet and its people are more important than a few extra things in my closet but I was not born from a rock hugging trees and growing my own food. I wasn't born an activist -- in fact, I'm non-confrontational, a bit timid and I don't always remember to recycle. And yet, I broke up with fast fashion.
The seamless integration of work and life has been imperative to the growth and successes of Clif Bar & Company. By fostering a community connectedness through group exercises, community service, and shared weekly organic meals together in their in-house cafe, they've openly discussed the types of food they want in their diets and for their families.
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Coffee is social, cultural, and for much of the Western world, coffee is fuel. For many of us, our morning coffee is top priority in keeping up with life's many demands. Unfortunately for coffee junkies worldwide, the coffee industry is being threatened on a global level by the impacts of climate change.
Green bonds are a new type of financing that make it easier for organizations to fund projects that deliver positive environmental and climate benefits. Green bond proceeds exclusively fund green initiatives and, unlike traditional bonds where investors do not have visibility into how the funds will be used, require transparency so investors can see that the funds are being used to benefit or protect our planet.