Friday, May 27, 2016

R20 Regions of Climate Action and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Partner to Accelerate Climate Change Solutions

Supports Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call to increase investment in climate projects
GENEVA and LOS ANGELES - 26 May, 2016 - Following the April signing of the Paris Agreement, R20 Regions of Climate Action "R20" and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation "LDF" announced the formation of a new partnership to rapidly identify and fund projects that address the urgency of climate change.
Financially supported by LDF under a new $650,000 grant, this partnership allows R20 to rapidly identify renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste management initiatives that have the potential to bring positive environmental and social benefits to communities across the globe, and ultimately reduce carbon emissions. Under this framework, R20 will develop and construct these projects, as well as measure and report on their impact.
Together, R20 and LDF are following the mission of the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance"CCFLA," which was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2014 to encourage investment in low-emission, climate resilient infrastructure in cities, and to close the investment gap in climate friendly projects in urban areas over 15 years.
"I commend LDF and R20 for supporting the goals of the CCFLA. Partnerships like this one strengthen the effort to unlock billions of dollars of private investment in projects that will urgently address climate change," said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "I thank them for their commitment to our environment, and to the future of humanity."
"The Paris Agreement was an important first step for reducing global carbon emissions, but there is more that must be done to accomplish this important goal. Our partnership with R20 is a signal that it is also the responsibility of private organizations to take up the charge of accelerating the adoption of climate-saving technologies, worldwide," said Leonardo DiCaprio, Chairman of Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. "We call on others to follow our lead because our planet is quickly running out of time."
R20 was founded to support governments and communities in the identification, preparation and financing of green projects to lower greenhouse gas emissions and help the world transition to a green economy.
"R20 and LDF share an unwavering commitment to taking bold action on climate change by supporting proven solutions that will impact real change for our planet," said Christophe Nuttall, Executive Director of R20. "With the support of our partners at LDF, we will help set a model for CCFLA members, governments and organizations to take action to develop their own climate solutions in all parts of the globe."
R20 was named the Secretariat for the CCFLA in partnership with World Fund for Cities (FMDV), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in January 2016.
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About R20 Regions of Climate Action
R20 Regions of Climate Action is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other global leaders in cooperation with the United Nations.
R20 is a coalition of partners led by regional governments that work to promote and implement projects that are designed to produce local economic and environmental benefits in the form of reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions; strong local economies; improved public health; and new green jobs. These local actions can help the world achieve our shared global environmental and economic goals.
For more information visit 
About Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Since 1998, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation ("LDF") has been on a mission to protect the Earth's last wild places, implementing solutions that restore balance to threatened ecosystems, and ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of all its inhabitants.
Through grant making, public campaigns and media initiatives, LDF brings attention and needed funding to three areas: protecting biodiversity, ocean & forest conservation, and climate change. The Foundation works in close collaboration with a broad network of environmental leaders and experts, effective organizations, and committed philanthropists to identify and support innovative, results-driven projects in the world's most wild and threatened ecosystems. Currently LDF supports over 70 high-impact projects in more than 40 countries around the world. 

For more information visit:  
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is a component fund of the California Community Foundation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

COP21: Gov. Schwarzenegger Addresses The Negotiators

re-posted from Press Release
December 7, 2015

COP21: Schwarzenegger addresses the UN climate deal negotiators
Monday December 7, 2015. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the negotiators today at the UNFCCC Paris Climate Conference during a session on cities and regional climate action. Schwarzenegger, an ardent advocate for the empowerment of subnational governments in tackling climate change, emphasized the crucial role that cities and regions play in advancing the low-carbon economy.
"No matter what you (negotiators) do, do not forget the power of subnational governments. 70 percent of emissions can be controlled with state and local policies. Cities and states hold tremendous power and we must never forget it," said Mr. Schwarzenegger.
Recognizing subnational action in the climate deal will ensure that local governments are given the support they need to implement their climate change mitigation plans, and that national emissions targets are met. According to Scaling Up: Local to Global Climate Action, a new report released at COP21:

"Rajasthan's installed solar capacity is the largest among all the states in India, accounting for more than one-quarter of the country's total. If Rajasthan's rate of solar energy expansion were scaled to the national level, India's carbon dioxide emissions would decrease by approximately 19 percent of the nation's total carbon dioxide emissions in 2012."

Saturday 5 December, 2015. Paris. R20 has signed an agreement with the international consulting and engineering firm, Egis, a branch of the Caisse des Depots, to create a Pre-Investment Fund (PIF) for waste management projects. The Fund will support the different actors of sustainable waste management (national and local governments, industry and investors) in their decision-making processes necessary to implementing infrastructure projects. 

The signing took place in the presence of Christophe Nuttall, Executive Director of R20; Terry Tammimen, Strategic Advisor to the R20; Pierre-René Lemas, CEO of Caisse des Dépôts; Nicolas Jachiet, CEO of Egis; and Craig Cogut, CEO of Pegasus Capital Advisors (a US-based private equity firm). In parallel with the COP 21 agreement, this partnership focuses on developing "Waste to Energy" projects in emerging countries. The pre-investment funds will enable Egis and R20 to bring to maturity the waste management market in emerging and developing countries. Read more. 

Schwarzenegger talks climate communications at Sciences Po
Monday December 7, 2015. In a bold address to the faculty and students of Sciences Po, France's leading political science institute, Gov. Schwarzenegger called on climate communicators to shift awareness raising efforts away from spelling future doomsday scenarios, to present-day dangers that are affecting humanity now.
"We are wired through thousands of years of evolution to focus on the here and now on survival. Our over-use of fossil fuels impacts us right now. The fumes from dirty energy are killing us. We cannot accept 7 million premature deaths every year with a clear conscience.
We want to be cutting edge. We know that a green economy is a growing and smart economy. That's the story we have to tell," stated Mr Schwarzenegger.

R20 holds General Assembly meeting 

Monday December 7, 2015. R20 held its Governing Board and General Assembly meetings at its new R20 Paris office in Champs Elysees.  The meetings, presided by R20 President Michele Sabban, gathered over 30 R20 members and partners coming from regions around the world. 

The Governing Board and General Assembly members unanimously re-elected Michele Sabban as President of R20.

R20 Executive Director Christophe Nuttall used these examples to demonstrate R20's successful business model over the past 3 years of bringing together decision makers, technical expertise, financial partners and investors, thereby enabling the deployment of projects on the ground.  In particular, Dr. Nuttall highlighted R20's ability to leverage millions of dollars for investments in projects, first by using seed funding to build Pre-Investment Facilities, which in turn provide funding for project development, and then by attracting the appropriate investments to implement the projects. Over the next 5 years, R20 will harness its resources to scale up the projects through its Green Investment Accelerator Fund, that will deploy billions of US dollars in investments. Read more.

R20 signs agreement with Feilo for 1 billion LEDs

A new agreement was signed between Ms.Sabban and Ms. Linyu Wang, President of Hawaii LED LLC, representing Feilo Acoustics Ltd, to establish a R20 Pre-Investment Facility for the installation of one billion LED streetlights in hundreds of cities across the world.


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R20 Regions of Climate Action | 48 Chemin du Grand Montfleury | Versoix | CA | 1290 | Switzerland

Monday, August 24, 2015

Celebrate World Water Week With Us!

5 Water Purification Designs for Third World Countries

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 748 million people lack access to uncontaminated drinking water sources. Moreover, WHO estimates that 1.8 billion people use a fecally contaminated drinking water source, 2.5 billion lack access to improved sanitation facilities and more than 840,000 people die from water related diseases annually. 

Contaminated water is the number one cause of death in developing countries, causing diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, typhoid fever, malaria, ascariasis, dengue fever and many other deadly illnesses. In fact, contaminated water is the number one public health concern globally based on its impact to society, according to the WHO. Fortunately, the WHO estimates that 10% of the global disease burden could be prevented with improved water supply and sanitation. In light of this, a number of innovations and technologies are providing growing solutions to this problem.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Race for Water Odyssey in Guam For New Scientific Analyses



To read it in French, click here


Press Release for immediate distribution
July 13th, 2015 - Guam (USA)

The scientific teams of the Race for Water Odyssey in Guam for new analyses on plastic pollution in oceans

Leaving Honolulu on June 30, the Race for Water Odyssey has since travelled with the purpose of going to Guam (Mariana Islands) for a new scientific stopover. The simultaneous presence of two typhoons in the area has forced the crew to change its itinerary.  Despite the absence of the navigation team in Guam, the planned stopover in this archipelago can still be conducted under good conditions. The R4WO scientific team arrived on the island yesterday and will deploy the protocol as initially planned. 

The R4WO crew was forced to go off-route over these last few days because of the formation of tropical cyclones Chan-Hom and Nangka in the North-Western Pacific. This is more specifically the Nangka typhoon (ranked category 5 on a scale of 1 to 5) which has forced the crew of the R4WO to bypass the Mariana Archipelago. However, these necessary safety measures did not undermine the continuation of the expedition. 

Tomorrow the shore crew will carry out beach samplings on three selected beaches on the Guam Island. On site up to July 18, the teams will also meet local stakeholders from the scientific and associative communities during a round table discussion on plastic pollution organised at Guam University.

Next stops: Tokyo and Shanghai

During this stopover in the Mariana Islands, the MOD70 Race for Water trimaran will continue its route towards the next stops of the expedition: Tokyo first of all, then Shanghai. In the two Asian megacities, the aim of the R4WO will be to exchange and raise awareness among local actors on the problem of plastic pollution in oceans.   

Click here to follow the expedition live! 

Click here for more information about the program in Guam!


About the Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO) 

Initiated by the Race for Water foundation, the "Race for Water Odyssey" is a unique expedition that aims to draw up the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the ocean by visiting island beaches situated in the 5 trash vortexes. In less than 300 days, over 40,000 nautical miles will be traveled, punctuated by 11 scientific stopovers and 9 outreach stopovers, involving a total of 13 countries. The Race for Water Odyssey benefits from the support of ISAF, Duke University, Oregon State University, senseFly, Swisscom and Swissnex. 

About the Race for Water Foundation 

Founded in Lausanne in 2010, the "Race for Water" Foundation's mission is to preserve our planet's most valuable resource: water. The foundation is an officially recognized non-profit organization seeking to implement concrete and sustainable actions, focusing on two main themes: protecting oceans and freshwater. "Race for Water" initiates projects aimed at raising awareness and taking concrete action on the ground. These actions are directed at four target audiences: economic players, political bodies, the scientific community, and the general public—with particular emphasis on future generations. "Race for Water" collaborates with organizations such as UNESCO, UNEP, IUCN, WWF, and WBCSD. 


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Seeing Green - New Book by Arch Institute Senior Advisor

Seeing Green—by Annabel Hertz

Annabel Hertz is senior advisor to the Arch Institute and, like Arcani, the novel's protagonist, she grew up in San Francisco and lives on avocados and espresso.
Compelled by the indigenous peoples at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, Arcani Kirsch, a recent graduate with Jewish-Hopi roots, leaves her west coast cocoon to join EnvironMentality, an international association of green-minded businesses in Washington, DC, committed to getting the Earth Treaty ratified. The first step is ensuring next US President attends a Ministerial meeting in Paris and Arcani spearheads a campaign to do just that. If only an ultranationalist professor had not plagiarized her work! Then there's the man who could derail her with his lustiness, the one that wants her to come to Christ, and the one she'd written off as dead, as well as an albatross of a sister to cope with. The path to Paris is indeed muddy. But Arcani plows ahead, trying to keep her vision true, her methods kosher, and her doting Aunt proud. En route to the Ministerial, she makes her mark in unexpected ways.
Described as a "timely, energetic and witty" story of a young woman on a mission to puncture the stasis of US environmental policy, Seeing Green pays homage to the DC scene, international---and office---politics, and idealism, providing "a refreshing contrast to the stale and polarized politics of our own time." The novel also explores the rocky and rewarding terrain of family and personal relationships from the perspective of a multicultural protagonist in "a felicitously fast-moving, tightly organized narrative."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pope Francis' Encyclical on Climate Change

posted by Paige Donner

Read the full original text, in English (also French, Italian, Spanish, etc.)  translation, HERE

.... aint Francis of Assisi

10. I do not want to write this Encyclical without turning to that attractive and compelling figure, whose name I took as my guide and inspiration when I was elected Bishop of Rome. I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically. He is the patron saint of all who study and work in the area of ecology, and he is also much loved by non-Christians. He was particularly concerned for God's creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Update on Santa Barbara County Oil Spill Recovery Efforts - Gov. Brown Issues Executive Order


Friday, June 5, 2015

Information & Questions Coordinated by

Oil Spill Joint Information Center



Unified Command Website

Governor Brown Issues Executive Order to Further Expedite Oil Spill Recovery Efforts in Santa Barbara County

SACRAMENTO - As federal, state, and local agencies continue working to minimize and mitigate the effects of last month's Santa Barbara County oil spill, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to further expedite recovery efforts and help ensure the natural environment is restored, beaches are reopened and economic impacts are minimized.

The Governor's order directs state agencies responsible for cleanup and restoration to take all necessary steps to issue emergency waivers and permits to facilitate the reopening of fishing, public access, and impacted beaches and waters, including Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach, and waives the waiting period for unemployment insurance for those workers affected by the oil spill. 


The Governor also directs the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response to continue working with other federal, state, and local agencies to clean up and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill and to hold the responsible parties accountable for environmental and fiscal damages.


The Governor's May 20, 2015 proclamation along with today's executive order advance a combined effort across federal, state and local agencies, tribal governments, local volunteers, conservation and environmental organizations, and citizens to deal with the effects of this substantial spill along an iconic stretch of California's remarkable coastline.


(Copy of executive order text below)




WHEREAS on May 20, 2015, I proclaimed a state of emergency to exist as a result of a pipeline rupture causing a significant release of oil and potentially other hazardous substances into the Pacific Ocean near Refugio State Beach located in Santa Barbara County; and


WHEREAS numerous state agencies and departments have been deployed to the impacted areas to respond to and mitigate the damage of the oil spill; and


WHEREAS those agencies and departments, joined by federal and local agencies and local volunteers, have worked tirelessly to contain the spill and to minimize and

 mitigate its effects on the environment, fisheries, wildlife, and the local economy; and

WHEREAS notwithstanding the best efforts of the state, federal, and local agencies and many volunteers, the oil spill has had a tremendous impact on the environment, resulting in the loss of marine mammals, birds, and fish that will continue long into the future; and


WHEREAS Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach have been closed due to the unsafe conditions created by the spill; and 


WHEREAS fisheries are closed resulting in 138 square miles of ocean being closed to commercial fishing causing significant damage to this industry; and


WHEREAS local governments and businesses along the Santa Barbara County Coast will continue to suffer economic impacts from this oil spill; and


WHEREAS emergency operations are now focused on restoring the impacted areas, but expedited efforts are still needed to restore the environment, reopen the beaches, and minimize economic impacts; and


WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the California Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property continue to exist due to the oil spill in the County of Santa Barbara; and


WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8571 of the California Government Code, I find that strict compliance with the statutes specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the oil spill.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, and in particular, sections 8567 and 8571 of the California Government Code, do hereby issue the following orders to become effective immediately:



  1. The provisions of the May 20, 2015 Proclamation declaring a State of Emergency remain in full force and effect, except as modified herein. 
  2. The Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response shall continue working with other federal, state, and local agencies to take appropriate actions to clean up and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill and to hold the responsible parties accountable for the cleanup and mitigation of the environmental and fiscal impacts of the oil spill.
  3.  The provisions of section 1253 of the Unemployment Insurance Code imposing a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants are waived as to all applicants who are unemployed as a direct result of the oil spill, who apply for unemployment insurance benefits during the time period beginning May 20, 2015 and ending on the close of business on November 20, 2015, and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in California.
  4. Because emergency efforts are now focused on restoration, paragraph 5 of the May 20, 2015 Proclamation, suspending chapter 7 of division 20 of the Public Resources Code, is hereby revoked.  Subject to the primary authority of the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response administrator for oil spill response under the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act, and specifically sections 8670.5 and 8670.7 of the Government Code, all agencies, including the Coastal Commission pursuant to its authority under section 30600(e) of the Public Resources Code, with notice to and coordination with the administrator, shall take all necessary steps to issue on an emergency basis any necessary waivers or permits to facilitate the reopening of fishing, public access, and impacted beaches and waters, including Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach.
  5. Paragraph 8 of the May 20, 2015 Proclamation, suspending Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District Rule 326, is hereby revoked as it is no longer necessary for restoration efforts.

This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this fifth day of June 2015.



Governor of California





Secretary of State



Cal OES is responsible for the coordination of overall state agency response to major disasters in support of local government. The agency is responsible for assuring the state's readiness to respond to and recover from all hazards - natural, man-made, war-caused emergencies and disasters - and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and hazard mitigation efforts. 
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California Emergency Management Agency | 3650 Schriever Avenue | State Emergency Operations Center | Mather | CA | 95655

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Race For Water Reaches The Bermudas

(posted from Press Release)
To read in French go to Greening Paris

The "Race for Water Odyssey" reaches the Bermudas and continues its scientific analyses 

The Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO) arrived today in Bermuda, the second witness island of the expedition. The crew will stay on the British Archipelago for 6 days in order to collect scientific data, enabling an initial global assessment of ocean pollution caused by plastic waste.

After 7 days of turbulent navigation from the Azores due to the passing of a very lively weather front, the R4WO drew up, this Wednesday April 1st, in Hamilton. Present in Bermuda until April 5th, the expedition team will analyze the waste littering 6 strictly-selected beaches of the archipelago. In order to obtain comparable data, these analyses will be carried out according to the same scientific protocol as the one deployed in the Azores, working with local associations such as "Keep Bermuda Beautiful". In addition, visits of the "MOD70 Race for Water" trimaran will be organized for the public. During this stopover, the R4WO benefits from the support of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel.

Next stop: New York

The R4WO will finish its crossing of the Atlantic by then setting off for New York, next stage in its world tour. In the megalopolis, several events will be organized to raise awareness and to draw the public's attention to the problem of plastic waste in oceans. The R4WO will have the honour, amongst others, to talk about this crucial theme during a plenary session organized at the UN headquarters in collaboration with the UNEP.


About Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO)

Initiated by the Race for Water foundation, the "Race for Water Odyssey" is a unique expedition that aims to draw up the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the ocean by visiting island beaches situated in the 5 trash vortexes. In less than 300 days, over 40,000 nautical miles will be traveled, punctuated by 11 scientific stopovers and 9 outreach stopovers, involving a total of 13 countries. The Race for Water Odyssey benefits from the support of ISAF, Duke University, Oregon State University, senseFly, Swisscom and Swissnex.

Local Governments For Sustainability World Congress

(posted from press release) 

Climate-KIC will be present at the Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) World Congress on 8 April in Seoul, Republic of Korea, to officially launch the Low Carbon City Lab programme and discuss new partnerships with cities and organisations from around the world. 

Greenhouse gas emissions in cities originate from a host of different sources, such as electricity production, transportation, commercial and residential buildings, as well as industry and waste. Reducing urban emissions is a shared effort by a large panel of city stakeholders. 
The new programme is part of a range of Climate-KIC programmes designed to help cities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new jobs for their low carbon economies. Climate-KIC is the European Union's main climate innovation initiative and supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). 

Low Carbon City Lab 

Cities account for 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities 

PARIS, FRANCE, 31 March 2015 – With all eyes on a global deal to reduce greenhouse gasses at the UN's COP21 conference in Paris later this year, EU initiative Climate-KIC will launch a new programme to help cities around the world unlock their emission reduction potential at a major global event in Seoul on 8 April 2015. 

Cities account for 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities. According to the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development, 75 per cent of the world population will be living in urban environments by 2050. The annual increase of the total world population is 1 per cent, while in the urban areas it is 1.8 per cent, almost twice as much.  Cities will continue to be the key nexus for climate action for years to come. 

Leveraging a diverse grouping of companies, research centers, technology experts, city networks and cities, Climate-KIC's new Low Carbon City Lab programme will aim to unlock the greenhouse gas emission reduction potential of cities, and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 1 gigatonne per year.

Strategies to reduce urban greenhouse gas emissions 

Thanh-Tam Lê, Director of Climate-KIC's centre in France, said "Our Low Carbon City Lab is an exciting example of how public-private partnerships can tackle climate change through both a market-led and an impact driven approach."  

The programme provides a series of tools, consulting and services to develop urban climate mitigation strategies:  

  • 3D software to visualise greenhouse gas emissions in cities. We also help cities bring together the data from sources across their urban areas.
  • Experts to verify greenhouse gas inventories according to the recently launched Greenhouse Gas Protocol standard and to prioritise actions.  
  • Help to boost cities' business generation activities including support for start-ups  
  • Tools enabling the monitoring of emissions from the transport sector.  
  • Services including training and summer schools, with courses focusing on climate finance for cities and the latest developments in greenhouse gas monitoring approaches for cities.  
  • Contribution to the definition of climate finance frameworks for cities (NAMAs, VNAMAs)