Excited as we are about the Paris Agreement – imagine – 195 countries coming to an accord! – the work is only beginning.
As noted by Eric Flanagan in a recent blog:
For the first time, all signatory nations have committed to a legally-binding agreement that recognizes the urgent threat of climate change. The agreement aims to limit global temperature increase to “well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” and encourages all countries to “pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius”.
These temperature goals demonstrate a near-global consensus on the urgent need to transition to a low-carbon economy.
There is change in the air. With the new cabinet announced this week, Trudeau is sending a strong signal that climate protection is high on his agenda. Quoting an article from the National Post,
“As signals go, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has put a big green light on his Liberal government’s promised climate change agenda.
Catherine McKenna, an international lawyer with an eye-popping resume, was named the new minister of “environment and climate change” Wednesday at Rideau Hall as Trudeau installed his new Liberal cabinet.
But the signs of climate policy green shoots go well beyond a high-profile new MP and the semantics of a ministerial name change.
Former Liberal environment minister and party leadership climate advocate Stephane Dion is Canada’s new foreign affairs minister — a powerful post that will give him oversight on ensuring climate policy is integral to Canada’s foreign policy.
Dion was also named chairman of a new cabinet committee on “environment, climate change and energy.”
There have been many terrific posts about the new cabinet and the new government. Here’s another of our favourites:Better yet, the Canadian public seems to be holding Trudeau accountable for his 184 election promises. The Trudeau Metre website (trudeaumetre.ca) shows us that two of his promises have already been fulfilled, the first of which was to name a cabinet with gender parity. Not bad for the first three days in office!So now, we keep up the pressure, in the most forward-looking and positive ways possible. Join us for the march on Parliament Hill on November 29, organized by 100% possible. Because. It. Is. 100%. Possible. Now it’s up to us to make it so.
We’ll be talking more about how we can support this shift in the Canadian climate at our AGM on December 3. Mark the date!
While turfing out the Harper Conservatives doesn’t change everything, it sure does change a lot. People who want to avert climate disaster and develop a clean energy economy now have a wonderful opportunity to persuade the brand new Trudeau government to take serious national action to avert a climate catastrophe and promote and facilitate democratic, community-based renewable energy development on a massive scale across Canada.
The Screening Room in Kingston will be showing Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis’ wonderful new film, This Changes Everything,on Wed Nov 11 and Thurs Nov 12. Both showings will be 7 pm. The management at the Screening room has agreed to allow Wintergreen and friends to have 30 minutes, after the showing and before the next scheduled film, for a discussion with the audience about a local campaign to support the Leap Manifesto and the 100% Possible Climate March in Ottawa on Nov 29. Learn more about the march by clicking here.
Wintergreen Co-op has endorsed the Leap Manifesto and will discuss a proposed campaign to build support locally for the Leap Manifesto at our upcoming AGM at the Central Branch of the KFPL in the Delahaye Room at 7pm on Dec 3. Non–members welcome.
(Don’t forget to sign the Manifesto!)
We have a lot of ideas to build a campaign to support the Leap Manifesto’s call for a transformation of our energy system including a reading club to read Naomi Klein’s book, This Changes Everything. We’re looking for lots more ideas and more community partners to build this campaign.
Please come out to an event or get in touch with us if you’d like to become more involved. I’d love to hear from you.
This year’s retreat will feature case studies and examples of how community funds were leveraged for a variety of unique projects. As in previous years, the event will include a mixture of presentations, roundtable discussions and themed group discussions, and delicious food featuring local produce. There will be opportunities to network with like-minded colleagues throughout the day.
This day-long event is open to the public and to Wintergreen Co-op members. It will run from 9:30 – 4:00, and the fee includes workshop materials, a sustainability tour of Wintergreen’s facilities, snacks, tea, coffee, and lunch. The subsidized fee is $20, thanks to the contributing partners.
Much has been happening… so much, in fact, that we haven’t posted on the website for some time! (for almost daily postings, check our Facebook page). We held our Annual General Meeting on January 30, and learned all about “Zoo Poo” from Daniel Bida, Executive Director of ZooShare. ZooShare is a sister co-op, engaged in building a very exciting biogas project at the Toronto Zoo using “Zoo Poo” to generate clean energy for Ontario. Zoo poo… who knew?
And… mark the date… we’ll be holding the 5th Annual Green Energy Workshop at Wintergreen Studios on Friday, June 19. Thanks again to our long-time partner, Sustainable Eastern Ontario, for making it possible to host this event at Wintergreen.
Green energy co-operatives are enjoying a renaissance in the Ontario power market.
In several cities and towns in southern and southwestern Ontario you’ll see large buildings or fields with solar-panel arrays, with some wind farms dotting the landscape.
Often those projects are the creations of co-ops. The fruits of their investments have increasing visibility in roof mount or field solar panel arrays in Toronto and its suburbs, and more recently in Guelph, Brant and Oxford.
Renewable energy co-ops have been around for years. One of the oldest is TREC Renewable Energy Co-op, which was founded in 1998 as a non-profit community power co-operative.
Wintergreen Co-op members and friends can invest in both of these co-ops. Contact David Hahn (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Today the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced the latest contract offers in its FIT program. The Wintergreen SolarShare collaboration has been offered a contract to sell electricity from a 500kW ground mount photovoltaic project on Unity Road in Kingston. This is the second Wintergreen project to be offered a contract by the OPA this year. We are intending to submit at least one more project in 2015. We will keep members up to date on developments.
So far this year our members have invested $447,000 in SolarShare bonds. The money that is raised from these bond sales will finance these and other co-op owned projects all over Ontario. Our investment campaign will continue through 2015. Remember the SolarShare bonds are for a five-year term and pay 5% interest on a semi-annual basis.
We thank all of our Wintergreen Co-op members for your support, and invite you to our AGM on Friday Jan. 30 at the Main Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library on Johnson Street at 7:00 pm. Our guest speaker will be Daniel Bida, the President of ZooShare, a sister co-op, engaged in building a very exciting biogas project at the Toronto Zoo using Zoo Pooh to generate clean energy for Ontario.
Put it in your calendar and stay tuned for more information.
Co-ops like ours thrive on the partnerships we have with other co-ops and like-minded organizations. We have posted regularly about our partnership with SolarShare and TREC Renewable Energy. You’ve no doubt heard about our partnership with Bullfrog Power as well.
The list of partnerships is growing, and our partners and affiliates are listed on the side bar, so that you can access their websites directly.
One of those partners is SWITCH Kingston, for which we are one of the many supporting members. SWITCH is a network of businesses, research and educational institutions, public sector participants, and community-minded volunteers dedicated to making Southeastern Ontario a leading centre for sustainable energy.