7 months ago

Climate Action 2012-2013


THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT people and yield immediate, direct, cost-effective and scalable greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Local governments cannot do this alone. Low emission development strategies, or LEDS, offer one vehicle towards making this transformation. In the Copenhagen accord, they were described as being indispensable to sustainable development. ‘Low carbon growth plans’ or ‘LEDS’ – the terminology is irrelevant. The important thing is that they effectively integrated economic development plans with low emission and/or climate resilient economic growth. Unless climate and development policy are created and implemented in a coherent way, we shall only be re-arranging deck chairs as the Titanic is sinking under us. That is why ICLEI has recently begun work, in partnership with UN-HABITAT, on a €6.7 million project, funded by the European Commission, to assist eight cities in four emerging economies to reduce their emissions as they grow. Implemented in Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and India, the project will help model cities to formulate and adopt Urban LEDS, and then share these experiences within their countries and beyond. Model cities will be guided through a comprehensive process using ICLEI’s GreenClimateCities methodology, to create a coherent, development-based strategy which identifies the cities emissions’ footprint, identifies and prioritises actions, and moves to implementation through fully costing solutions in different sectors while seeking investments to bring them to fruition. The project will also strive to develop a globally acceptable and nationally appropriate verification process for reporting of local greenhouse gas inventories and mitigation actions. SCALING UP, MOVING TOGETHER A key aspect of the Urban LEDS project is to scale up action, and to link cities to the actors in the international climate regime. With up to 20 other satellite cities able to share the experiences of the model cities and use this experience and learning to move forward on low emission development, scaling up will be started. The movement of local governments acting to promote low emission development is big, but it needs to be massive. Innovative ICLEI member cities need to be joined by thousands more. In Doha, the hope is to move closer to “Success will depend on a fundamental transformation in our development model.” a much needed global framework that involves and appropriately supports local governments, including enabling implementation through direct and additional financing, and matching their level of ambition. The global climate community has to provide all the necessary support to visionary local leaders and governments who are willing to move faster in reducing emissions and in offering sustainable livelihoods for their citizens. For the Earth doesn’t care where reductions take place – but demands urgently that less emissions are accumulated in the atmosphere. The author acknowledges valuable contributions of Steven Bland, Project Manager at ICLEI Africa Secretariat and Yunus Arikan, Manager of Cities Climate Center at ICLEI World Secretariat in the preparation of this article. Gino van Begin is the Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. A lawyer by profession, his international career spans 25 years, including stints in Russia, the European Commission and the Government of Flanders cabinet. Gino was a member of the EU Expert Group to the European Commission on the Urban Environment from 2003 until 2006. He is a co-drafter of the Aalborg Commitments on urban sustainability to which more than 500 cities and towns in Europe have adhered since its launch in 2004. Gino undertakes official observer duties on behalf of ICLEI at the COP negotiations on Climate Change, as well as expert roles at the European Commission and the Council of Europe, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is the world’s leading association of cities and local governments dedicated to sustainable development. ICLEI is a powerful movement of 12 mega-cities, 100 super-cities and urban regions, 450 large cities as well as 450 small and medium-sized cities and towns in 84 countries. ICLEI promotes local action for global sustainability and supports cities to become sustainable, resilient, resource-efficient, biodiverse and low-carbon; to build a smart infrastructure; and to develop an inclusive, green urban economy with the ultimate aim of achieving healthy and happy communities. 112

SPECIAL FEATURE FOAMGLAS ® INSULATION A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT FOAMGLAS ® is a high performance and ecologically sustainable cellular glass thermal insulation for building and industrial applications. Cellular glass offers outstanding system advantages, with extremely high compressive strength, absolutely waterproof and sealed against vapour diffusion. FOAMGLAS ® is the only insulating material in which the vapour barrier, due to its material structure, is already built in. The principal material in production is recycled glass (60 per cent), with feldspar, sodium carbonate, iron oxide, manganese oxide, carbon, sodium sulphate and sodium nitrate. MINIMAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION Having outstanding qualities (mineral, impermeable to water and vapour, resistant to acids, non-combustible, resistant to high temperatures), cellular glass is a very durable material, significantly reducing maintenance and replacement cycles. Cellular glass does not release harmful or toxic components into the environment. It does not contain greenhouse gases or ozone depleting products, no flame retardant and no contaminative or carcinogenic particles and fibres. The energy used in production is renewable hydro power. When recommended installation instructions are followed, cellular glass insulation does not produce emissions that degrade the environment or health, in production, installation or use. FOAMGLAS ® EXEMPLIFIES SUSTAINABILITY It’s lifetime performance and the savings on energy and emissions of constructions insulated with FOAMGLAS ® guarantee a real gain & positive energy balance, and exceeds within a few months the energy used and emissions made during the production and disposal processes. Even under conditions of extreme stress FOAMGLAS ® keeps its performance. Dimensionally stable, environmentally neutral, inorganic, non-rotting and without risk for the groundwater, FOAMGLAS ® is outstandingly suited regarding sustainable aspects. RECYCLING Waste incineration of cellular glass is not a possibility as it is incombustible. Since the material is inert, it Museum of Islamic Art, Doha. FOAMGLAS ® compact roof and façade FOAMGLAS ® compact roof system may be used as crushed stone for road construction or infill material. Recycled FOAMGLAS ® is suitable for these applications, as it is dimensionally stable, neutral for the environment, inorganic, rot-proof and proven to pose no risk to groundwater. FOAMGLAS ® is an insulation concept fit for the future that genuinely answers concerns for the environment. The system ensures that all demands on performance, durability, environmental integrity and sustainability are fulfilled. European Headquarters Pittsburgh Corning Europe NV, Albertkade 1, B-3980 Tessenderlo Tel: + 32 (0)13 661 721, Fax: + 32 (0)13 667 854 Email: Web: FOAMGLAS ® façade rendering system 113