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About COP21, the Role of Cities and Local Climate Action

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COP21 wraps up tomorrow.  For those following the talks and events in Paris, this Conference of the Parties has been nerve-wracking but hopeful – seemingly full of equal measures of high-ambition and hot air. At the moment, country negotiators are racing to reach an agreement before the Friday, December 11th, 6pm deadline.

If you are wondering what exactly COP21 is and why it matters,  here’s some info from the UNEP Climate Action website:

“The international political response to climate change began at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where the ‘Rio Convention’ included the adoption of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCCC which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has a near-universal membership of 195 parties.

The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation. The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and significant meetings since then have included COP3 where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, COP11 where the Montreal Action Plan was produced, COP15 in Copenhagen where an agreement to success Kyoto Protocol was unfortunately not realised and COP17 in Durban where the Green Climate Fund was created.

In 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

France will play a leading international role in hosting this seminal conference, and COP21 will be one of the largest international conferences ever held in the country. The conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.”

You can read daily reports on COP21 negotiations and side-events via the IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin: http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop21/enb/

Please also check out these resources to learn more about the emphasis on the role of cities and subnational governments at COP21: Provincial delegations at COP21Glen Murray’s Wish List for COP 21, the Compact of Mayors (to which Oakville, ON has signed on), and more on the Climate Summit for Local Leaders.

Ontario has also recently released a Climate Change Strategy and is promising a detailed 5 year ACTION PLAN in 2016.

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What will Ontario look like in 2050? Source: MOECC http://www.ontario.ca/page/climate-change-strategy#section-8

Read this article by Christopher Hume of the Toronto Star, interviewing Franz Hartmann, from the Toronto Environmental Alliance, about the high economic and social costs of not investing in climate change-era infrastructure for cities.

Finally, read more about one important local issue – the expansion and preservation of the Greenbelt in the Greater Golden Horseshoe – which holds great promise to bring global climate change commitments into local policy and action. The advisory panel report on the Province’s co-ordinated review of land use plans in southern Ontario can be found here.

 

Let it Grow!

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Become an acorn foster parent this winter!

The snow has arrived and with it the cold weather. For teachers and leaders it can be challenging to find ways to keep kids engaged in Nature, Oakvillegreen has the perfect classroom or group project for you.

2014-10-04 at 11-13-27

 

Help our urban forest by growing acorns in your classroom during the winter. Learn how to do it here. Oakvillegreen can provide the acorns and the pots, all you have to do is give them a little bit of love and make sure they stay hydrated.  All seeds have been collected in Oakville and will be used to help reforest our urban forests during  the spring.

This project provides great curriculum connections. Watching plants grow is always exciting and a great experience for children.  They can expand their knowledge on plant anatomy, growth and needs of plants; but especially they will learn how to take care of a living thing while helping nature.

To participate or to learn more about the program send us an email at programs@oakvillegreen.org

Join our Board of Directors! Help Oakville grow greener!

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Care about restoring and protecting nature where you live? Want to create a greener community that is connected to nature? Join our Board of Directors!

Oakvillegreen is looking for a Board Secretary.

More details on this role here: Be Our Board Secretary!

TO APPLY: Send a brief statement of interest including your qualifications (max 300 words) to president@oakvillegreen.org. We will begin to review applications on November 15, 2015 until a suitable candidate is selected.

What is Oakvillegreen?

Oakvillegreen Conservation Association (OCA) is a non-profit advocacy environmental organization with a 15-year history of protecting and enhancing nature and promoting a green Oakville. OCA has achieved success in advocating for natural heritage system planning, urban forest protection, a natural trails plan and against an incinerator, cosmetic pesticide use and new developments in natural areas. We have engaged thousands of volunteers in enhancing local parks and green spaces and have planted over 18,000 trees and shrubs. In collaboration with municipal, corporate and community partners, OCA volunteers plant native trees and shrubs and steward over 50 sites in Oakville and, new in 2015, a demonstration pollinator garden. We connect diverse audiences in the community to nature’s diversity through presentations, hands-on stewardship events, workshops, guided hikes and cycle tours. Our free, grade K to 12, curriculum-connected school programs, are delivered to thousands of students each year. 

We strive to create a LIVING Oakville, with restored nature and a community connected to nature!