This post is part one of a series of COP 21 Paris blogs tracking the progression of the historic conference.
The success of the Kyoto Protocol is much debated. However, one thing is certain: it will expire in 2020. With only a few years left of the international treaty where does that leave the state of climate politics moving forward? This is what the United Nations intends to figure out this December in Paris. The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) will meet on November 30th with the goal of achieving a legally binding, universal agreement on climate change. The aim is to keep the rise in global mean surface temperature below 2°C, avoid serious climate change effects, and develop a financial plan moving forward. The goal is to produce an agreement that is universal and legally binding for all major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters, including both developed and developing countries. This, however, is no easy task as 196 countries will have to come to an agreement.
Although solar is a hot market right now, you may still be wondering what all the hype is about. Or, perhaps you know what the hype is about, but are still skeptical. This guide is here to help: it will clarify why solar is important, dispel myths, and explain how individuals can get involved!
Solar Is Better Environmentally (And Politically) than Traditional Energy Sources
This one might be obvious, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Unlike oil, gas, coal, and other traditional energy sources, solar is renewable, meaning it can be replenished naturally in a short timeframe. In other words, we’re not likely to run out of solar anytime soon and there’s plenty of it to go around, contrary to other methods that have sparked global conflicts and debates about resource scarcity. On top of that, solar creates no pollution or greenhouse gases. That means breathing easier, reducing climate change, and creating peace.
This post was written by BC3 Fellow, Stephanie Lee.
It’s Zero Waste quarter for the ten companies participating in BC3’s Green Teams Collaboration Initiative.
What is Zero Waste?
When I hear the word “waste,” I immediately see an image of a trash can, overflowing with food, wrappers, and other junk. After all, according to the dictionary, waste means “material that is not wanted; the unusable remains or byproducts of something.” If this definition is true, how could any person reach zero waste, or divert 100% of his/her trash from incinerators and landfill, let alone an entire city?
Press Release: Northern California Employers Help Employees Pool Their Buying Power to #PutSolarOnIt This Summer
Benefit Program Makes Going Solar Easier, More Affordable for Homeowners; Other Organizations Invited to Join
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 22, 2015 – In honor of the National #PutSolarOnIt Day of Action, the Business Council on Climate Change’s (BC3) Energy and Carbon Leadership Group today announced a new solar discount benefit program. The SunShares program will pool the purchasing power of some of Northern California’s largest employers and membership organizations to make it easier and more affordable for homeowners to go solar.
Press Release: BC3 Members support City of SF's climate goals, form Energy and Carbon Leadership Group
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 22nd, 2015 – The Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) has announced its support for the City of San Francisco’s “singularly ambitious climate action goals” and the formation of an
Energy and Carbon Leadership Group (ECLG) tasked with fostering private-sector leadership on energy and carbon.
April 22nd, 2015
Mayor Edwin M. Lee
City and County of San Francisco
San Francisco City Hall, Room 200
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dear Mayor Lee:
As members of and participants in the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3), we are writing this Earth Day to express our congratulations and support for the City of San Francisco’s singularly ambitious climate action goals. We look forward to working with you to make our community a beacon of hope and a lab for local climate solutions.
We support all of the goals laid out in San Francisco’s Climate Action Strategy: zero waste sent to landfills; a fifty percent reduction in single passenger auto trips; one hundred percent renewable electricity; and a thriving urban forest. Reaching these goals will be good for our businesses, our city, and our planet. The leadership San Francisco has shown in setting these targets and exceeding milestones to date is already redefining success and inspiring action in other municipalities around the country.
Press release: Zero Waste Competition Partnered Major Employers & Non-profits to Save Textiles from Landfill
Employees collected 3,818 lbs. of worn out sneakers and clothes during a two-week competition between major employers
Guillermo Rodriguez, SF Environment
The San Francisco Department of the Environment and the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) announced the winners of San Francisco’s first Zero Waste Textile Collection Competition today, reporting that more than 3,818 pounds of used clothing, shoes and other textiles were collected over two weeks. But it’s not just used clothing and linens; accessories such as belts, purses and boots can be reused or recycled as well.
The Zero Waste Textile Collection Competition is an effort to help eliminate the 39 million pounds of textiles San Franciscans send to the landfill each year, which could fill about 1,500 Muni buses, and help reduce the astonishing 21 billion pounds of textile waste generated yearly in the United States.
This post is part of a series of interviews and guest posts with people who are forging new paths for sustainability in San Francisco. Read other recent conversations about a program to transform low-income communities through gardening, artists who find beauty at the dump, challenges and solutions related to the California drought, and San Francisco's Climate Action Strategy.
Founded in 2006, New Resource Bank aims to change banking by focusing on bringing resources to sustainable businesses and ultimately creating more sustainable communities. From making loans to mission-oriented organizations to serving as a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, New Resource Bank is a unique San Francisco institution that is making a big impact.
Recently, New Resource Bank became BC3’s newest member. We sat down with New Resource’s Director of Marketing and Sustainability, Stephanie Meade, to learn more about her role and the Bank’s mission.
This post was written by BC3 Director Michael Parks.
Last month brought two heartening pieces of news. In New York and around the world, a half million people took to the streets to demand that the U.N. move beyond gridlock on climate change. Then, during the "Climate Week" that followed, mayors, CEOs, and community leaders from around the world shared their stories of the many local, bottom-up climate solutions that are already working.
Like most, I believe addressing climate change will ultimately require strong national and international policy. Yet it's also clearer than ever that some of the most powerful near-term action on the issue will come from cities and businesses.
This post was written by Climate Action Fellow Allison Khoe
On the morning of September 21st, I stood at the corner of 69th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City along with 13 other university students from California, taking in the hordes of people that had filled the street. We grabbed painted signs from the sidewalk and pushed our way to the front of the masses to find our places before the march began. From my vantage point at 5’2”, it was hard to tell how large the crowd had grown, but I sensed that this was no minor gathering. Around noon, the march began to move forward, rising with chants and drum beats as we walked past Central Park, Columbus Circle, and Times Square.
I would not find out until much later that the People’s Climate March brought out over 300,000 people into the streets of Manhattan that day, making headlines as the biggest environmental demonstration in history. The organization of the People’s Climate March was spearheaded by the NGO 350.org in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Summit that took place two days later, during which heads of state gathered to spur discussions on international climate change mitigation.
The intention of the People’s Climate March was to send a message that would be impossible to ignore, urging our global leaders to act swiftly and decisively on the environmental crisis as the climate warms and natural disasters intensify daily. The numbers were meant to be staggering, the noise deafening, and the demands unyielding. The entire world should have been out marching that day, insisting on the preservation of each and every one of their futures.
The BC3 Blog
Contributors from across the sustainable business and cities movements share their insights on how San Francisco can lead on climate change.
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