A Paris Climate Talk Roundup

I am keeping tabs on news reports coming out of the Paris climate talks, from some of my favorite green sources. I am posting occasional links on the Facebook and Twitter MPLS Green feeds.

Here are a few from this first week:

A great overview from Vox of the realistic possibilities from Paris

What the Paris climate talks might actually do

Very nicely done article on the Paris talks… “Think of the countries making climate pledges as a bunch of out-of-shape slobs trying (and failing miserably) to qualify for a relay event. A Paris deal won’t be able to force these people to train harder. But it can put their names up on a whiteboard, track their progress, work out gym subsidies for those who can’t afford it, and facilitate peer pressure. Obviously the exercise is the crucial part, and that ultimately depends on each individual. But that other stuff can help.”

From GreenBiz

A cheat sheet to industry-specific COP21 pledges

A nice roundup of the first week of proclamations coming from Paris, including: “Microsoft co-founder and now philanthropist Bill Gates thinks the world is adopting clean energy too slowly. That’s why he convinced a who’s-who of tech billionaires — including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff — to put more than $1 billion toward the fight against climate change.”

Understand COP21 in these 7 graphics

Two of our favorites…


From The CityFix

Sustainable Cities and Buildings at COP21

Topic of Dec. 14 Sustainable We, related to this aspect of Paris climate talks…. how is our city handling building energy efficiency and what do we need to do differently to make an impact? From Paris: “Mayor Mancera of Mexico City, for example, announced at Buildings Day that it is moving forward to integrate building energy performance in local construction codes, retrofitting hospitals with solar hot water and efficiency measures, and auditing and retrofitting municipal buildings. More than 100 stakeholders have participated in WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities’ workshops and working groups to provide input and recommendations on how to implement local codes and advance retrofits. The goal? To help meet their ambitious climate targets and improve the performance and competitiveness of the city.”

An Economic Case for Compact, Connected and Coordinated Cities

“Ani Dasgupta, Director of WRI Sustainable Cities concluded the session by encouraging everyone to share the NCE research, as it delivers a clear message: the economic case exists to allow long-term planning for compact, coordinated and connected cities.”

In a related, though non-Parisian vein, from Business Green

Ben & Jerry’s carbon price

Ben & Jerry’s is part of a coalition of companies calling for world leaders to set a global price on carbon to ensure everyone is pricing externalities in their investment decisions….. Earlier this year, Ben & Jerry’s set itself an internal carbon price, the revenues from which are recycled to help farmers finance biodigesters that process manure to generate renewable energy and fertilizers…. the Paris Summit is really only the start of efforts to tackle climate change, and as such the company is already drawing up plans to campaign and lobby governments over the next decade to ensure the world really does put itself on a pathway towards less than 2 degrees Celsius of warming. “There’s going to be enormous shifts and disruptions over the next 10 years and I think every single business leader out there now recognizes this is something they have to address, not just from a humanity point of view but from a business continuity point of view.”

NOT from Paris… but I want to be sure MPLS Green readers are aware of this one, from the Star Tribune

State’s largest solar array now generating power at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport

With no fanfare, the switch was flipped on the Minnesota’s newest and largest solar power generator

Stay tuned for more to come. And don’t forget to sign up for our December 14 version of the Paris climate talks — the Sustainable We forum focused on building better models in Minneapolis housing for energy efficiency standards, featuring several progressive and opinionated local house designers/architects. (The fee for this one is higher than usual, to help us offer free admission to the upcoming event in North Minneapolis.)

— Mikki Morrissette, MPLS Green founder


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