D-1 Until COP21

The 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (or COP21 for short) is about to kick off in Paris tomorrow and will run until December 11th.  We’ve all heard about it in the news lately I’m sure, especially as Prime Minister Trudeau has invited opposition party leaders and premiers to attend the event, showing that Canada should be all-in on the climate issue.  Even though Trudeau is going into this conference with the same climate plan as the previous government, his attitude says a lot and I’m really hoping to see a Canadian government with a more open-mind at this year’s talks.

Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of the themes that will be covered:
Dec. 1st – Forests and Agriculture.
Dec. 2nd – Oceans & Resilience.
Dec. 3rd – Transportation and Buildings
Dec. 4th – Private Finance and Short Lived Climate Pollutants
Dec. 5th – Action Day!
Dec. 7th – Energy Day
Dec. 8th – Cities and Sub-nationals, Business, Innovation

The one day I’m really excited for is Buildings Day!  It will focus on importance of building efficiency (building emissions account for 30% of all GHGs after all). Also, on December 9th Architecture 2030 will also be holding Zero by 2050, focusing on how to decarbonize the built environment. It’s about time we started paying more attention to the impact that buildings have on climate change, especially because I think this is one of the most readily changeable behaviours.  We already have the technology and drive to make amazingly efficient and/or net-zero buildings, and I feel like within the industry there’s lots of passion and innovation to do even more.  This is definitely the way of the future, and it would be great to see solid international commitments made.

Energy day will focus on both renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as access to energy, which I found quite interesting.  There will also be a panel called Africa in Motion, not surprising considering all the great gains Africa has made in terms of renewable and micro-grid energy systems recently.

Another exciting day is the 8th, with the focus on cities and innovation.  Mayor John Tory seems really confident in making environmental changes happen in Toronto, and making us a better city overall, so I hope his enthusiasm translates into real change as he meets and learns from other urban leaders.

If you want to follow all the COP21 news and events, follow @COP21 and @UNFCCC on twitter, or like their Facebook pages! The event will also be livestreamed and you can check out the conversation here as well. See here for more information on how to participate online. You can also follow me on twitter (@Kait_2908) and check out my RTs and commentary on the event as the days progress!

As always, feel free to leave your comments below!

Featured image credit to COP PARIS for use under public domain.


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