European and US Cities Sign Stockholm Appeal Urging World Cooperation at COP15

Mayors of the largest European and American cities co-authored a mutual appeal to show their desire for the U.N.’s COP 15 meeting in Copenhagen to result in a global climate change agreement. The appeal, called the "Stockholm Appeal on Climate Change", recognizes that mayoral leadership in a primary impetus in climate protection. Read the full story in PR Newswire.

World on course for catastrophic 6° rise, reveal scientists

Scientists predict that the world is on path for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change. Carbon emissions are expected to cause a global temperature rise of 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, and will potentially make large parts of the planet uninhabitable for humans. Next month’s Copenhagen conference will be important in producing a global framework for targeting emissions. Read the full story in The Independent.

Netherlands to levy ‘green’ road tax by the kilometre

The Dutch government announced that it wants to implement a green road tax, in hopes of cutting carbon dioxide emissions and reducing road congestion. The transport ministry explains that each vehicle will be equipped with a GPS device that tracks travelling distance, and a collections agency will bill car owners. Read the full story in Google News.

Where countries stand on Copenhagen

The Copenhagen conference is intended to develop a new international framework for combating greenhouse gas emissions. The final round of preparatory discussions in Barcelona revealed opposing ideas from the conference participants, particularly between those representing developed and developing nations. Read this table from BBC News to compare countries.


Read a summary of the "meaningful agreement" met by key powers at the conference in BBC News.

Village Vancouver

Village Vancouver is a non-profit society that aims to inspire individuals and organizations to lead sustainable communities. They are actively helping communities in Vancouver become lower their carbon emissions and become more resilient. They use organizing tools such as blogs, conferences and informal gatherings to help facilitate the sharing of their visions. Learn more at the website.


Climate Rage

The U.N. summit on climate change in Copenhagen will include discussions of "climate debt", a controversial proposal which argues that the costs of climate change should be the responsibility of the countries that created the crisis in the first place. The U.S. and other developed nations are reluctant to acknowledge the climate debt proposal. Read the full story by Naomi Klein.

Green Jobs: Making Green Jobs Happen

Forum Keynote: Robert Pollin

Robert Pollin is the founding Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and one of the leading researchers on green jobs in North America. He co-authored the reports “Job Opportunities for the Green Economy” (June 2008) and “Green Recovery” (September 2008) which explore the broader economic benefits of large-scale investments in a clean-energy economy in the U.S. He is also the author of “Building the Green Economy: Employment Effects of Green Energy Investments for Ontario.”

Speakers and Workshop – Download PowerPoint presentations


12:00 p.m. Registration and Refreshments

1:00 p.m. Keynote Address: Robert Pollin, Political Economy Research Institute

2:00 p.m. Workshops

  • Municipal Financing for Green Retrofits
  • Green Schools
  • Creating Green Jobs Strategies for Ontario

4:00 p.m. Closing Address: Michael Peck, Gamesa: ‘Converting Idle Factories to Successful Green Industries’


Municipal Financing for Green Retrofits
Learn how municipalities can promote and finance green energy projects and energy efficiency retrofits for homes and make money at the same time, with
•    Steve Bellone, Supervisor, Town of Babylon – creator of a successful, large scale, municipally funded energy efficiency retrofit program in New York.
•    Kelley McKanna, Project Manager, Renewable Funding – pioneers in the municipally led, municipally financed home-based renewable energy installation
•    Emmaia Gelman, Policy Director, Center for Working Families – led campaign to win $100,000,000 in funding for energy efficient retrofits for the state of New York

Green Schools
Schools can be leaders in green energy and in the learning that supports it. Hear about how schools across the country are showing the way forward, with
•    Patrick Robertson, West Vancouver School District – created a comprehensive Sustainability Action Plan for the district, reducing carbon and saving money
•    Karen Maxwell, Director, Capital Policy Branch, Ministry of Education – administering $550 million in funds for greening Ontario schools

Creating Green Jobs Strategies for Ontario
Strategies to move communities into a green economic future are being created by leaders from all sectors. Learn about the latest strategies for green jobs, with.
•    David Thompson, David Thompson Research – author of Alberta Green Jobs Strategy
•    Sarah Winterton, Education and Outreach Director, Blue Green Canada/ Environmental Defence – outlining Blue Green Canada’s green jobs plan

Closing Address: Michael Peck, Gamesa

Michael Peck, the architect of the Gamesa project that turned abandoned steel mills into working windmill factories in the US, has shown how fresh thinking and new partnerships can create thousands of green jobs. Michael’s efforts to build similar partnerships that contribute to developing the wind power industry in Ontario point to exciting opportunities in the future. Michael is also a leader in the national green jobs movement.

More information?  Tel: 416.531.7265     Fax: 416.531.7210

Afloat in the Ocean, Expanding Islands of Trash

Scientists believe that global oceans contain immense gyres of waste and plastic debris, some of which are believed to be twice the size of Texas. Marine animals feeding on waste products transfer toxins to their own tissues, which accumulate over time. Recent research suggests that the amount of plastic in these gyres is increasing, and the ocean is becoming more polluted. Read the full story in The New York Times.

Changing a City: Inside Portland’s 80 Percent by 2050 Target

Portland, Oregon is the only city in North America that has managed to reduce emissions below 1990 levels, despite an 18% population growth. The city recently passed the Climate Change Action Plan (CAP), which commits the city to reducing overall emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. A notable element of CAP is that it does not focus on things that governments have direct control over. Read an interview with Michael Armstrong, Deputy Director of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Death Denial and Climate Change

Polls and surveys show that there has been a recent surge in climate change denial across the globe. Some researchers propose that this may be attributed to human psychology, rather than scientific scepticism. The predicted climate change disaster makes it difficult for people to repress thoughts of death, and they may respond by antagonizing scientists and environmentalists. Read the full story in Monbiot.