Most telling: business leaders are making sure that their viewpoint is part of climate change policy discussions, especially leading up to and including COP21. Earlier this year, Citigroup bank announced that it would lend, invest, and/or facilitate $100 billion towards climate and environmental solutions, and more recently renounced investments in coal, led by its Environmental and Social Policy Framework document. Coordinated by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), six major U.S. banks issued a Climate Action Statement in October, as did the CEO’s of ten major food companies, including Mars, General Mills, Unilever, and Kellogg, who issued a joint letter to world leaders. C2ES also released Weathering the Next Storm: A Closer Look at Business Resilience. More businesses signed on to RE100, a global business campaign committed to 100% renewable electricity. And on October 19, the White House announced that 81 U.S. companies, with combined revenue of $5 trillion, have now signed the “American Business Act on Climate Pledge”, launched in July 2015.
Pembina Institute released a series of reports about energy efficiency and net-zero buildings over the summer of 2015, to contribute to B.C.’s Climate Leadership consultations. The most recent, concerning passive houses, were presented at the North American Passive House Network conference in Vancouver in October. Barriers and solutions to near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) and High Performance envelope in Europe and North America notes the role of work practices, lack of training, and regulatory barriers. Programs or Policies in North America that have Encouraged Passive Houses lists examples of changes to procurement policies, building codes, and permitting practices which have encouraged the growth of passive houses; most examples are for Vancouver and the west coast of the U.S.
In March 2015, Sustainable Canada Dialogues (SCD) released Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars – a “consensus paper” which compiled proposals for a national climate action plan from 60 Canadian academics. On October 8, SCD followed up with the release of Acting on Climate Change: Extending the Dialogue Among Canadians – which compiles the formal responses from First Nations, businesses, NGOs, labour, youth and private citizens, organized into topics which include Employment and Labour, Social Justice, Indigenous Perspectives, Reinventing Cities, Renewable Energy Challenges, Youth, and more. Highlight papers: “The role of workers in the transition to a low-carbon economy”; “Protect the Environment by Doing More Work, Not Less” by Lana Payne and Jim Stanford of Unifor, Comments by Andrea Harden-Donahue on behalf of the Council of Canadians; and “Envisioning a Good Green Life in British Columbia: Lessons From the Climate Justice Project” by Marc Lee of the CCPA. The report was accompanied by an Open Letter to the Leaders of Canada’s federal parties, and is signed by the participating academics. Catherine Potvin from McGill University, who spearheads Sustainable Canada Dialogues, states that the goal was to “provide the seed for an inclusive, country-wide consultation on the best ways for Canada to transition toward a low-carbon, sustainable economy and society”. The overview report, Agir sur les changements climatiques: vers un dialogue élargi à la société civile canadienne, and individual papers are available in French.