George Osborne unveils ‘most generous tax breaks in world’ for fracking

We must have centralised energy policies at ALL COSTS!

@ClimateRDG This is an open request to Reading Climate Change Partnership #Climateready

SUPPORT CCCRdg now! – http://tvb-climatechallenge.org.uk/partners/

Anti Fracking – UK anti-fracking animation June 2013. “There’s No Tomorrow”

Links:
George Osborne unveils ‘most generous tax breaks in world’ for fracking
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/19/george-osborne-tax-break-fracking-shale-environment?

Fracking Water Warning As Tax Break Announced
http://news.sky.com/story/1117721/fracking-water-warning-as-tax-break-announced

UK Fracking WARNING idiots – Risk of small earthquakes triggered by larger temblors across the globe
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/distant-quakes-trigger-temblors-in-the-oil-patch-study-16238

Former Mobil VP Warns of Fracking and Climate Change
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/17605-former-mobil-vp-warns-of-fracking-and-climate-change

This Is What Fracking Really Looks Like
http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2013/07/19/nina_berman_fractured_the_shale_play_looks_at_lives_affected_by_fracking.html?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=sm&utm_campaign=button_toolbar

Gangplank to a Warm Future
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/opinion/gangplank-to-a-warm-future.html?_r=1&

,,and the list goes on and on..

Team CCCRdg

OECD: Green Growth in Stockholm, Sweden

OECD conference in Stockholm on green growth

Green Growth in Cities was the theme of a conference arranged by OECD in Stockholm. Based on the reports which were launched, the conference elaborated on the potential of cities and regions around the world to foster economic growth and reduce environmental impact through innovative policies and political commitment.

H.R.H Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden was present during the Green Growth in Cities – Urban Evolution conference in Stockholm, here with Sten Nordin, the Mayor of Stockholm and Yves Leterme, deputy secretary general of the OECD.

renewable energy, green certificates, climate change mitigation policy, climate change, carbon tax, greenhouse gas emissions

Stockholm was the subject of a case study, find it here

 

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Sweden has developed an extensive and sound policy framework to limit greenhouse gas emissions. It is now one of the OECD countries with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita and it has successfully managed to decouple GDP growth from emissions growth. However, as Sweden has already significantly lowered its greenhouse gas emissions, the cost of reducing them further could be very high, making it urgent to improve the cost-effectiveness of Sweden’s climate change policies. A strategy to enhance the cost-effectiveness of this policy framework would include: i) reducing differences in carbon prices between sectors and increasing even further the role of market-based instruments; ii) limiting overlap between targets and policies; iii) raising Sweden’s participation in greenhouse gas emission reductions abroad; and iv) improving the assessments of the policy framework. This Working Paper relates to the 2011 OECD Economic Survey of Sweden (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/Sweden).

OECD_Green_Growth_in_Stockholm

Download full report here: OECD: Green Growth in Stockholm (123 pages)

http://www.mynewsdesk.com/pressroom/stockholmbusinessregion/document/download/resource_document/27275

Updates on Placemaking and Rethinking Cities from the ‘Future of Places’ Forum in Stockholm

Posted on June 23, 2013 by Dan Gilmartin

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

I am in Stockholm, Sweden this week with 200+ others from around the world attending the Future of Places conference, a forum established to transform places through placemaking and efforts in public spaces.

After an opening reception this evening at City Hall, things kick-off tomorrow morning. I will update the blog throughout the week with items of interest. I am also presenting to the group on Tuesday about our efforts underway in Michigan to revitalize our state through placemaking and entrepreneurship.

Check back when you can. Twitter users may also want to follow @DPGilmartin, @PPS_Placemaking, and the hashtag #FutureofPlaces.

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6.26.13

The end of the meeting was quite interesting, and entertaining. A schism between the global south countries that were represented and those in the north came to the forefront. Many in the global south struggle with the basic elements of public space (namely access and safety). So they come at the issue from a much different direction. A woman who works in Mumbai asked, “how do you create public spaces in a slum that houses 1,500 people per acre?”  Excellent question.  I am sure that these issues will come up again when the group convenes in 2014.

In all the summit was a great experience. I learned much from the participants and look forward to our  continued efforts in placemaking and improving the public realm for everyone. Thanks to the sponsors for making it happen.

  • Andres Duany, never at a loss for opinion, spoke to the group in an effort to recap the event.  Highlights from his observations: 1) ‘Specialists’ ruin cities. You can’t ONLY care about housing, transport, art, etc. It must be about everything; 2) Modernist planning and architecture does not lend itself to people. Chinese planning, which looks in his opinion to mimic Orange County, CA is a collective cruelty on its people; and, 3) Faceless international private sector banks are running on auto pilot, buying commercial property that “fits” their outdated formulas for making money and reeking havoc in the market for new urban and traditional financing.
  • Listening to Katherine Loflin speak about the Knight Foundation’s Soul of the Community report. The true connection between a city and its people can have a positive lasting effect in economic growth, quality of life, and other areas. Findings confirm this.
  • Some themes from Day 2: See Day 1 :-)

6.25.13

  • Placemaking can offer elected officials a long term strategy for political capital AND a platform for short term wins-Peter Smith
  • Adelaide, Australia CEO Peter Smith says his city’s crisis is a crisis of comfort where they have become satisfied with their own expertise. Procedures can crush innovation. He believes that governmental structure needs transformational change, not incremental movement.  True dat.
  • I just shared Michigan’s story of placemaking with the attendees. Stressing that good placemaking is good economics, I focused my talk on how the League and its partners (including MSHDA) are working to move though out private business and various government sectors to create unique, vibrant places. Thanks to PPS, Ax:Son Johnson Foundation, and UN-Habitat for the opportunity to share.
  • There is a focused effort in many Latin American cities to reclaim the street for multi-modal transportation uses that help connect people and places.
  • Hilmy Mohamed, President of the Mayors Association of Sri Lanka, is working to transform his community using a green city concept- composting, green space, botanical gardens, etc.
  • Nice presentation from Dr. Jed Patrick Mabilog, Mayor of Iloilo City in the Philippines (population 500,000). The goal of the Iloilo City project was to engage citizens and grassroots organizations in all plans of urban transformation and growth. Participation was increased through surveys, social networks, consultations with experts and work though task forces. The result was the “My city, my pride” that was meant to provide a sense of empowerment for the people and increase participative government. Accomplishments include a river restoration, the creation of a wetland and bird sanctuary, rehabilitation of a 500-year-old public plaza, new efforts in flood control, the creation of a community college, and additional low income housing.
  • Some themes from Day 1- The public realm must include everyone in the community planning. Often it does not. Gentrification, that ugly word, is alive and must be dealt with when transforming places within communities. Placemaking can be an excellent entry point to dealing with climate change.

6.24.13

  • Regarding financing for city projects there is a major dilemma that is retarding placemaking efforts in cities that require capital. Namely, banks tend to lend to large scale projects that fit an old fashioned formula . Yet, in cities it is often the magic that is produced by one-of-a-kind smaller developments that give places their souls. Something to watch, for sure.
  • Walkable urban place management is a missing level of governance in U.S., according to Chris Leinberger. I agree. That is why our work at the Michigan Municipal League is so relevant. We must figure out how to best deal with places at ever level- the street, neighborhood and city levels.
  • In the US the ‘drivable suburban fringe’ is responsible for most CO2 emissions. The walkable urban core emits only 1/6 as much by comparison- Chris Leinberger
  • Historic places are remarkably similar in how they are structured. Climate and cultural differences aside, they function at the street level in much the same way. These old, largely “unplanned” places create a sort of ‘deformed wheel’ scheme. They are integrated networks.
  • The essence of civic behavior is essentially the main street where people come together. Without it, we might as well not have cities.-Murrain
  • Unless the built environment allows you the ability to transact then you simply can’t do it- which is the whole reason for having public space to begin- Paul Murrain
  • Everyone must be represented in the public domain. As places change or are reprogrammed there is often a crisis of identity among the inhabitants.
  • Diversified patterns of work of today’s white collar workers are changing patterns and needs within cities. Public spaces play a crucial role in adjusting the city to its inhabitants, however displacement is a problem if a city does not take into account the needs and desires of all groups (see European capitals).- Madanipour
  • Ali Madanipour is critical of modernist architecture as it often interrupts public spaces. Modernist space serves the building, not the space around it. Unfriendly to the public sphere. <True
  • Knowledge based workers and tourists view the quality of architecture and public spaces as critically important “soft” attractants. Investments in public spaces is vital ingredient in the local economy. Results are clear.
  • Cities are important to the deindustrialization of western cities and their move towards a service based economy.
  • In the best areas, public spaces are reclaimed from the car for uses like gardening, walking, biking and the like.
  • Recent technology was thought to be the end of cities, yet urban living thrives. Economies of scale, innovation and living opportunities are reasons why. Provision of high quality public space is vitally important to continued quality of life.

Alfredo Billembourg and Hubert Klumoner

Alfredo Billembourg and Hubert Klumoner, UTT

  • Urbanism must break down barriers of poverty and social inequity. Designers must become activist in their work.
  • Slums and barrios around the world are increasingly becoming security hot spots, in addition to unsustainable living areas.
  • One billion people live in squatter cities worldwide. This will double by 2030. 60 to 90 percent of urban growth is in slums.
  • We must “Wake Up” as city leaders. Urbanism cannot be unsustainable, asymmetric, intolerant, problematic- Hubert Klumpner of Urban Think Tank
  • The Summit is the first of three meetings that will lead to an adoption of  “Declaration of Urban Spaces” to be presented in 2016 at Habitat 3.

8 points on financing climate change adaptation in urban areas

David Satterthwaite
20 June 2013

As the urgent need for climate change adaptation becomes clearer, so three issues come to the fore. The first is the cost.  Many estimates suggest that trillions of dollars are needed, with little idea of where these might come from. The second is whether governments and international agencies will act with the needed urgency. The third is whether those who need to act get the support they require. A meeting on Financing Urban Adaptation to Climate Change held at IIED on the 13-14 June highlighted eight points to guide funding.

People stand on a sea-wall with a road and look out at the ocean. The sea-wall built by members of the Philippines Homeless People’s Federation in Davao with a loan from the the Asian Coalition for Community Action. The loan encouraged the government to extend the wall further. Credit: ACHR


1: Climate change adaptation needs to support change on the ground

This includes working with those most at risk from storms, floods and heat waves and other hazards associated with climate change. Somsook Boonyabancha from the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights gave many examples of risk-reducing initiatives in informal settlements. Since 2009, the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA) has supported over 1,000 community initiatives in 168 cities in 19 nations.

The funding available for each initiative was only (US) $1-3,000. But the community organizations chose what to do with the support – for instance constructing water supply systems, drains, all-weather roads or paths, sea walls (as in the above photo) or playgrounds.  In most of these cities, several community initiatives were supported and those involved came together to discuss with their local government how to expand such initiatives. They often set up jointly managed city funds to do so. Through this process, many community organizations developed new relationships with local government staff.  Community organizations became the drivers of change within their settlement and within the city. These were not climate change adaptation programmes, but by allowing those in informal settlements to determine what was done, it meant hundreds of initiatives which reduce climate change risks. In many cities, communities chose to repay the funds so other community initiatives could be supported.

2:  Urban dwellers as local risk analysts, managers and reducers

The billion urban dwellers who live in informal settlements are among those most at risk from climate change. They also have knowledge and capacity to identify and reduce those risks. In over 30 nations, there are national federations or networks of ‘slum’/shack/homeless people. The foundations of these federations are savings groups, mostly formed and managed by women. Joel Bolnick fromSlum/Shack Dwellers International/SDI highlighted how these savings groups are also risk analysts, managers and reducers. Indeed the reason why the savings groups were set up was to help very low-income women manage risk and increase their resilience to shocks, including sudden and extreme weather events that can damage their homes and livelihoods. They build this resilience by creating savings accounts and having quick and easy access to loans when needed. These savings groups have supported many initiatives – building or improving homes, building and managing community toilets and washing facilities, and carrying out censuses in informal settlements to generate the data needed to design and implement upgrading schemes.

Siku Nkhoma from the Centre for Community Organisation and Development gave examples of how the 50,000 members of the Malawi Homeless People’s Federation had negotiated for land, built homes and constructed 2,500 eco-friendly toilets in different urban centres.

3:  Partnerships between slum dweller groups and city governments can build resilience at the city scale

Alice Balbo from Local Governments for Sustainability – ICLEI emphasized that where local governments have learnt to work with those living in informal settlements, we begin to see a model of climate change adaptation that is centred on those most at risk and capable of helping the city scale-up its efforts. These partnerships draw on household, community and local government resources, and thus require far less external funding than conventional climate change adaptation plans. In over 100 cities, slum/shack dweller federations have memorandums of understanding with city governments to formalize these partnerships. In many cities, there are City Funds jointly managed by local governments and community organizations

4:  International and national funds should be funding local processes, not projects

In the few city initiatives that have supported climate change adaptation, this generally starts with a city vulnerability study, then with experts identifying projects, then measures proposed to seek funding. The ACCA programme described above does this the other way round – providing funding, letting those on the ground make decisions and in doing so act on risk and vulnerability. Instead of a national fund to which local governments apply, each urban centre should be allocated funds whose use has to be determined with community organizations with transparency in how funding priorities are determined and supported.

The Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI) in Thailand shows how a national government fund can support community organizations formed by people living in informal settlements to design, manage and fund their own upgrading programme or housing initiative. This makes CODI funding go so much further. Since much of this work is funded by loans, it also means funds that are returned go to benefit other communities. If governments shifted from funding projects to funding the community processes outlined above, the scale of what they could achieve would be enormously increased. These community organizations often leverage increased support from local governments and businesses, as shown by CODI, by ACCA, and by the initiatives of the slum/shack dweller federations.

5:  Climate change adaptation and good local development go hand in hand

Steve Hammer from the World Bank emphasized how climate change adaptation has to be treated as a co-benefit of development initiatives. None of the initiatives mentioned above were designed as climate change adaptation. But, by addressing priorities identified by community organizations from informal settlements, many risks were reduced as housing was improved, infrastructure installed (for water, sanitation and drainage) and services provided (including disaster risk response capacities).  Without this, there will be little buy-in to climate change adaptation from the community groups and local governments. And without their buy-in and collaboration, there is little hope of progress.

6:  The five points above help build the financial, institutional and political base that climate change adaptation needs in every urban centre

As local processes help build local governments with more capacity, transparency and willingness to work with those in informal settlements, it also means local governments that can better use international funding to complement local resources, and international agencies can work with them more effectively.

7.  The big international climate funds need to work with local governments and informal settlement residents

Funds that support local processes have produced new insights into what funding is needed and by whom – but this presents enormous institutional challenges to any national or international fund set up to support climate change adaptation. Their bureaucracy could never manage support for thousands of low-cost initiatives to community organizations.

At the moment, much of the discussion on adaptation financing is around the confusion caused by the different international funds and their funding procedures, the limited funding these have (because of the lack of commitments by many governments) – and for many, the surprisingly low amount of funding actually committed.

But what is more at issue is the incapacity of these funds to support and work with the kinds of local and city processes that can and should drive climate change adaptation. Why isn’t there more discussion of this? Why are the two most important groups for climate change adaptation (and for development) so marginalized in these discussions – local governments and representative organizations of the billion people living in informal settlements? What is the point of developing new international funds if they cannot work with those who will make best use of this funding?

Some of these international funds don’t want their support for adaptation to include development. So they won’t fund the infrastructure that so many cities lack, only the increase in the infrastructure’s resilience to climate change impacts. But you cannot increase the resilience of infrastructure that is not there. Financing adaptive capacity in cities is not just funding the incremental improvements to cope with increased risk – it is building the institutional, financial and political capacity to act, invest and govern well.

8:  Support for local processes needs 1 per cent of aid

If funds to support the local processes outlined above got 1 per cent of aid, this would mean US$1.2 billion a year. Imagine the impact these funds could have if applied to the slum/shack dweller federations and to ACCA.

Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI) has supported the growth and consolidation of federations of slum/shack/homeless people in over 30 nations, supporting the creation of 16,000 savings groups, securing tenure for 200,000+ households and providing hundreds of thousands with better access to toilets and washing facilities.  There are memoranda of understanding with more than 100 cities, censuses of 4,200 informal settlements (and profiles and maps covering many more than this).  All this with (US) $30 million external funding. With$600 million a year, what more could they achieve?  2,000 cities with strong federation-city government partnerships?  Much improved provision for sanitation and washing for hundreds of millions?

With around $10 million, 2009-2012, ACCA supported 1,000 community initiatives, 150+ cities with discussions between community organizations and local governments and over 100 City Funds. With US$600 million, this could support 60,000 community initiatives, 9,000 cities with discussions between community organizations and over 6,000 City Funds.  The achievements of ACCA and of SDI are in the collective achievements of the hundreds or thousands of groups they support, to whom they give choice, voice and influence.  These are the kinds of transnational networks that can help channel support direct to action on the ground.

Of course, there are other key issues for financing urban climate adaptation. Perhaps the most important is how to get adaptation, resilience and mitigation built into the vast private investment flows that are the key drivers of urbanization. As Jeb Brugmann pointed out, the investments needed to achieve resilient and low-carbon urban centres are far beyond what the climate change adaption funds are likely to have.

But at least we have a working model for what has long seemed an impossible task – building resilience to climate change among those with the lowest incomes and least political power. We can see the scale and scope of what external funding could support – and the relatively modest funding that this would require.

iied – International Institute for Environment and Development

The part on climate change from the G8 communique – definitely not enough

, and it wasn’t high on the agenda or saying anything particularly new – but worth a read anyway.

“Climate change is one of the foremost challenges for our future economic growth and well-being. We remain strongly committed to addressing the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly by 2020 and to pursue our low carbon path afterwards, with a view to doing our part to limit effectively the increase in global temperature below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, consistent with science.

We will pursue ambitious and transparent action, both domestically and internationally, in the UNFCCC, complemented by actions addressed through other relevant fora.

We recognise climate change as a contributing factor in increased economic and security risks globally. The G8 has agreed to consider means to better respond to this challenge and its associated risks, recalling that international climate policy and sustainable economic development are mutually reinforcing.

We … note with grave concern the gap between current country pledges and what is needed, and will work towards increasing mitigation ambition in the period to 2020. We reiterate our commitment to the developed countries’ goal of mobilising jointly $100billion of climate finance per year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and are advancing our efforts to continue to improve the transparency of international climate finance flows. We welcome the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to mobilise political will through 2014 towards a successful global agreement in 2015 during the Conference of the Parties that France stands ready to host.”

From: (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/207771/Lough_Erne_2013_G8_Leaders_Communique.pdf):

via Healthy Planet UK.