This blog is designed to highlight the diversity of views and news stories on urban energy topics that appear daily in the media. They are intended to provoke discussions on how cultural, geographic, political, and institutional influences shape the way energy markets operate and energy policies are made in cities around the world.
What's stopping us from taking action on climate change?
Can research from other fields help us find solutions where conventional thinking around environmentalism might have failed?
The fourth part of the Climate Connection asks whether global leadership is failing to take the right action when it comes to climate change and what might be the new solutions.
Are new models of leadership needed to tackle the problem or are they already out there?
The New Leaders
What could have been an historic moment turned into an historic failure.
That was the initial reaction by many observers to the outcome of COP15 last December.
Agreements were signed but neither the emissions reduction target of two degrees nor the budget for developing countries’ adaptation funds were binding.
The overall feeling was of a deficit of leadership by those with real power to change the story. It was also seen as a dire failure of democracy – with divisions between North and South and a round of final negotiations that included at first just 25 nations and then later just five (America, Brazil, China, India and South Africa).
International leadership at the highest level appears to have stalled over climate change. But what’s stopping them?
Do we need a new approach to leadership, or is it already out there?
Mike Williams travels to Hong Kong to find out how the city's politicians are tackling the problem and what grassroots organisations are doing to encourage long term strategies in their leadership.
Across the globe, networks of leadership have emerged, at the grassroots level but also at the civic and commercial level. One of the most successful so far is the group of international cities called the C40.
From Toronto to Seoul, Karachi to Addis Ababa the C40 leaders have put aside their naturally competitive instincts to create real environmental benefits for their own citizens and to share them with other cities. The plan is to provide the world with a major step change in carbon emission reductions.
In Hong Kong, Mike Williams explores one example of the C40 in action.
How far have their C40 measures gone to tackle the city's own carbon emissions and is it enough?