Praise Researchers for Investigating Low Carbon Urban Strategies

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Target: Chris Kennedy

Goal: Thank engineer Chris Kennedy for demonstrating the possibilities of sustainable urban living

In the wake of the increasing discussion on global carbon emissions, a team of engineers in Toronto has been working on strategies to determine just how much it’s possible to actually reduce carbon emissions in urban environments. The results could allow us to avoid potentially serious consequences and for that they deserve our thanks.

Chris Kennedy, Civil Engineering Professor in the Department of Applied Science and Engineering at University of Toronto, led the research, which can be found in the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering. His team performed two different studies, one based on Toronto’s current policies and another using potential, but aggressive, alternatives. The aggressive strategy included retrofitting all existing buildings, using renewable heating and cooling systems, and increasing the use of electric cars.

These are, of course, merely scenarios, but the study demonstrates what is actually possible. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, causing 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years the climate change conversation has shifted from what kind of damage are we causing to what we can do, and if it is even possible, to change urban living standards without dramatically effecting economic activity. Kennedy’s work proves that it is possible, despite much political opposition to investments in sustainability, for cities to make significant positive changes that are also realistic and economical.

Toronto is the fifth most populous city in North America and its metropolitan area is roughly the size of New York City. If it is possible for a city this size to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 71% with a little time and the right strategies and investments, cities all over the world could do what many currently believe is impossible. Please sign the petition below to thank Chris Kennedy and his team of engineers for showing the world that sustainability can be practical and that sustainable urban living is possible without harming industry.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chris Kennedy,

You recently led a team of engineers during a complex study to determine just how much greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced in urban environments. The results were surprising, and proof that as a global community it is possible to reduce greenhouse gasses in urban environments without placing undue strain on industry or the economy.

Thank you so much for your contribution to the fight against climate change. I hope your research, and the city of Toronto, serve as a powerful influence on every politician who believes that investing in sustainability is a futile and unreasonable endeavor.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Brie79 via Flickr

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