Renewable Cities wraps up successful renewable energy forum
By Wan Yee Lok
Renewable Cities' Global Learning Forum 2017 officially wrapped up with an appreciation party event on Friday, June 9 to recognize the contributions of the dozens of speakers, sponsors, volunteers, partners and staff who helped make the forum a smashing success.
Global Learning Forum 2017, which took place in May, brought together energy leaders from 105 municipalities across in 13 countries working in local governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, First Nations and in the research community for a dialogue on the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy in cities.
"We're incredibly grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of the Forum 2017," says Keane Gruending, communications manager of Renewable Cities, a global program of the SFU’s Centre for Dialogue. "It took the work of over 80 session leaders from in Vancouver and around the world, as well as experts and leading implementers in this field and our sponsors, partners and volunteers to pull off the gathering.”
Gruending says cities contribute to three quarters of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and need to adapt to changing demands for energy, infrastructure and space as global urbanization trends continue.
"There were incredible ideas exchanged in the forum and cities were able to draw inspiration from one each other," says Gruending. "In fact, we’re already hearing about elected officials returning home to look at the challenge of achieving 100 per cent renewable energy.”
Since Renewable Cities' first Global Learning Forum in 2015, around approximately 20 North American cities in North America alone have committed to transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy in one or more sectors, including the Cities of Vancouver and Victoria.
The Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Adnan Z. Amin, who was highlighted as a plenary speaker said this, “In Canada’s case [the energy transition] has to be a bottom up process.… It’s events like this that bring the constituency together to gather force, share experiences, and look at the future in a new way.”
After conducting a full evaluation of the forum Global Learning Forum 2017, Renewable Cities will release a report in this fall that documents the event’s outcomes.
For more information see www.renewablecities.ca/forum2017.