We were invited by Low Carbon City, our partners in Colombia and Paris, to give a talk and run a workshop in the People’s Climate Summit in Bonn. This summit was organized as a consequence of the COP 23, the UN Climate Summit held in parallel in the same city, which gathers thousands of delegates and climate justice activists from all over the world. The objective of the PCS was to take advantage of the momentum and the meeting of so many actors involved to network, open the debate, and learn from one another.

The workshop aimed to share best practices on effective citizen involvement strategies towards the decarbonization of cities. Our partners Low Carbon City and Urban Oasis presented their projects of education, revitalization and empowerment that each of them have lead in Colombia, Berlin and Paris. Current Ecological brought a straight forward presentation introducing important concepts in sustainability that can seem quite complex, but that can be simplified to everyone’s understanding. And that’s what we aim to do, we want to make people aware not only by giving figures and statistics, but also by bringing research and academic terms into practice in our daily lives, and understanding how our decisions and our lifestyles have an global impact. 

 

We discussed about the right to pollute in cities, the facts that made our cities car-centered, how pedestrians were being blamed as the uncivilized ones by crossing the streets, and how they made us believe it until today. Later we brought technology, energy efficiency and rebound effect to the table, showing examples of how the more efficient devices get (cars, A/C, refrigerators, etc) the more we make use of them, and therefore there is no real reduction in energy consumption in the end. If consumptions increases, emissions increase. We made clear that technology alone won’t save the world and that it should be seen merely as a tool. The only way in which energy efficiency will really help, is if we stop consuming and producing as if there were no limits. Therefore, we want to promote a change in our behavior towards sustainability.

 

Since the event was about empowerment of citizens for urban decarbonization, we introduced some behavior change principles that were later used in the workshop. We got 45 people in the talk and 20 in the workshop, where lots of interesting proposals came up.

 

Thanks to Low Carbon City for the invitation and to People’s Climate summit for all the hard work in organizing the event. Let’s hope that the voices of the PCS participants will be heard and addressed in the COP 23.

 

We are looking forward to being part of the next Low Carbon City Forum next year in Paris! Save the date, September 2018.