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Archive for April, 2012

Food Freight Deliveries by Barge in Paris

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on April 26th, 2012

Source: ifw


Image © Alfred Cromback

From “Supermarket delivers by river” by Stuart Todd:

French supermarket Franprix, part of the Casino group, will later this year use river transport to deliver food products on a daily basis to 80 of its stores in the centre of Paris.  The development is believed to be an industry first.

Containers will be transported by truck from a warehouse in the suburbs of Paris to the inland port of Bonneuil-sur-Marne for transfer to a barge for the 20 km journey along the Marne and Seine rivers to the heart of the French capital – thus avoiding chronic road trafiic congestion into Paris.  Currently, services carrying food products by river to Paris have had to terminate at ports in the suburbs due to the lack of a city centre river terminal capable of handling containers.

The Franprix service has been made possible by re-development work carried out by inland ports operator, the Ports de Paris, on a stretch of quayside located in Paris’ 7th arrondissement, near the Eiffel Tower, to accomodate the barge shuttles.

The service is scheduled for launch in September and in the start-up phase will transport 28 containers(the equivalent of 450 pallets) daily rising to 48 containers over time. Deliveries to Franprix stores will be undertaken by Norbert Dentressangle.  “Each container transported by river represents 10,000 fewer truck kilometres annually,” the retailer said. The stores served by the barge shuttle will display the logo “Supplied by the Seine,” the retailer added.

In September last year, French inland waterway specialist Compagnie Fluviale de Transport (CFT) unveiled a new barge service on the Seine for the delivery of new vehicles to dealerships and car rental firms in central Paris.

In 2007, another French supermarket chain, Monoprix,began supplying its Paris city centre outlets by a Fret SNCF-operated 20-wagon shuttle, running every working day on the D Line of SNCF’s Paris suburban network.

Read the original article by Stuart Todd.


The Garage Sale Trail

Posted in Events, Movements by Jessica Bird on April 13th, 2012


Photo by Eastlaketimes via Flickr CC

From The Garage Sale Trail: Thousands of garage sales all over Australia on one huge day – Saturday 5th May 2012

The Garage Sale Trail is about sustainability, community & creativity. It’s a organisational framework that enables the peer-to-peer exchange of assets, resources and money on a hyper local level but with national scale. Garage Sale Trail is a platform for anyone who wants to make some money or raise money for a cause and for anyone who wants to connect with their community. That’s makers & creators, local business, households, cultural institutions, charities and community groups.

In brief, the Garage Sale Trail is about making sustainability both fun & social and using the Internet to get people off the Internet:

  • The Garage Sale Trail is a program that enables the peer-to-peer exchange of assets, resources and money on a hyper local level but with national scale. It happens all over Australia on one day, Saturday May 5th 2012
  • The Garage Sale Trail is about sustainability, creativity, community and micro-enterprise
  • The Garage Sale Trail is a platform for anyone who wants to make some money or raise money for a cause and for anyone who wants to connect with their community.
  • The Garage Sale Trail is for makers & creators, local business, households, cultural institutions, charities and community groups
  • The Garage Sale Trail a perfect way to discover treasure, de-clutter, have fun, make money, make a positive contribution and make neighbourhood connections
  • You can get involved by registering your sale online, shopping on the day – May 5th 2012 and/or donate to the Garage Sale Trail Foundation

FOR SELLERS:

  • If you are a household the Garage Sale Trail is the perfect way to de-clutter & make a little pocket money
  • If you are a maker or creator, use the Garage Sale Trail as an opportunity to market your wares to an audience who want to discover treasure
  • If you are a local business it’s an opportunity to connect to your neighbourhood and make positive contribution to your community
  • If you’re a community group or cultural institution the Garage Sale Trail is the perfect way to fundraise and / or connecting to your local community

FOR BUYERS:

  • Garage Sale Trail is the perfect way to discover treasure
  • Garage Sale Trail is the biggest community-based marketplace
  • The Garage Sale Trail is the best way to find a bargain

Use your mobile on the day to find Garage Sales near you: www.truelocal.com.au

Register your garage sale or plan your trail by visiting garagesaletrail.com.au

The Garage Sale Trail website also has some good tips on holding a garage sale, keeping your sale green, and haggling for a purchase! – [JB]


Australia’s transition to a post carbon future: Post Carbon Pathways report

Posted in Movements, Research by Jessica Bird on April 11th, 2012


Image source: AAP 

From What Australia can learn from the world’s best de-carbonisation policies by John Wiseman and Taegen Edwards

Around the world an increasing number of detailed policy road maps are demonstrating the possibility, necessity and urgency of a rapid transition to a just and sustainable post carbon future. The key barriers to this transition are social and political, not technological and financial.

The Post Carbon Pathways report, published by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne and the Centre for Policy Development has reviewed 18 of the most comprehensive and rigorous post carbon economy transition strategies. As Australia enters the next phase of the climate change policy debate, this report will provide vital information on how other jurisdictions are designing and implementing large-scale plans to remove carbon from their economies. The review focuses on transition road maps produced by governments with the strongest emissions reduction targets, such as Germany, Denmark and the UK. It also looks at the most comprehensive and influential non-government authored strategies such as Zero Carbon Britain, Zero Carbon Australia and World in Transition (German Advisory Council on Global Change). Our analysis of these diverse ways of reaching a post-carbon future highlights several key lessons.

The window is closing fast
A wide range of detailed national and global level strategies demonstrate the technological and economic feasibility of rapidly moving to a post carbon economy. This goal can still be achieved at the scale and speed required to significantly reduce the risk of runaway climate change. But the gateway for effective action is rapidly closing. Decisive action in the next five to ten years will be critical. There is a crucial difference between transition strategies that advocate a pragmatic and evolutionary approach and those that advocate more rapid and transformational change. […]

Technology is not the most significant barrier
Analysis of these strategies shows that technological barriers are not the most significant obstacles to a fair and swift transition to a post carbon economy. The integrated suite of technological and systemic changes needed to reach a just and sustainable post carbon future will clearly need to include:

  • rapid reductions in energy consumption and improvements in energy efficiency
  • rapid replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy
  • significant investment in forests and sustainable agriculture to draw down and sequester carbon into sustainable carbon sinks.

We already have the technologies to achieve emission reductions at the required speed and scale. Soaring investment in technological innovation, particularly in the United States, China and Germany, is driving down the price of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at a remarkable speed.

Financial and economic barriers: significant but not insurmountable
The economic and social costs of failing to take action to reduce emissions are becoming increasingly clear – as are the multiple employment, health and environmental co-benefits of a swift transition to a post carbon economy. Most strategies advocate a mix of market based and regulatory mechanisms, underpinned by clear long-term emissions reduction targets. Some authors however remain cautious of relying too much on carbon pricing. They recommend additional, more direct interventions such as:

  • binding renewable energy targets
  • feed-in tariffs
  • eliminating fossil fuel subsidies
  • allocating the funds to close fossil fuel power stations.

Strategies with emissions reduction targets that are more strongly informed by climate science also commonly advocate a significant shift towards economic priorities which focus on improving social and ecological wellbeing rather than unconstrained growth in material consumption.  […]

There is no solution to climate change without climate justice
Intergenerational justice – the need to respect and protect the livelihoods and opportunities of future generations – remains the most powerful ethical justification for taking prudent and decisive climate change action now. There is also widespread recognition that political support for a rapid transition to a post carbon economy depends on implementing policies to overcome key social equity challenges – within and beyond national borders.

The key barriers are social and political
The biggest barriers preventing a rapid transition to a post carbon future are social and political – not technological and financial. The difficulty of securing and sustaining broad social and political support is widely recognised as the greatest barrier to a swift transition to a post carbon economy. The most significant gap in post carbon economy transition strategies is a lack of detailed game plans for mobilising political leadership and public support. Worryingly, even the most optimistic of the social change theories underpinning these strategies, tend to rely on a variety of ‘Pearl Harbor’ scenarios in which one or more catastrophic ecological events would provide the necessary wake up call. […] The development and communication of inspiring stories and compelling images of a just and sustainable post carbon future will be particularly crucial.

Australia’s post carbon pathway leadership challenge
The Australian Government’s 2020 emissions reduction target (a 5% decrease on 2000 levels) is clearly still far from the level required for Australia to make a responsible and fair contribution to global emissions reductions. Australia’s 2050 target (an 80% decrease on 2000 levels) is more robust. But there is no detail as yet as to how this target will be achieved. Evidence from the most promising transition strategies elsewhere suggests we need a more informed and thoughtful debate about the kind of economic growth and industry mix that Australia should aim for. We need to talk about the fairest approaches to mobilising the required levels of financial, human and social capital. Most importantly, a far more visionary level of political leadership will be required in order to drive an Australian climate change debate informed primarily by climate science rather than short-term calculations of political and economic feasibility. […]

Read the article in full on The Conversation.
Read the Post Carbon Pathways briefing paper, summary report or full report.


City of Sydney blazing the way with LED lighting.

Posted in Models, Movements by Jessica Bird on April 4th, 2012


Photo from City of Sydney

From an article on Greenpages by The Climate Group

Sydney has become the first major city in Australia – and one of the first in the world – to embrace LED lighting, following council approval for General Electric (GE) and UGL Limited to fit LEDs to the majority of the City’s outdoor lights as part of an AUS $7 million three-year project.

The new lights promise to cut the City’s lighting-related electricity bills and carbon emissions by more than 50%, while bathing city streets in a whiter, brighter light. The first lights were installed last weekend on George Street in front of Sydney Town Hall, a central location which was initiated by The Climate Group’s LightSavers program. In total, 6,500 lights will be fitted with LED technology. A rollout of this size is unprecedented in Australia and will be closely watched by other councils. If successful, it may start a domino effect and see LEDs spread to city streets across Australia.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore supports the City’s pioneering rollout of the LED lights. She said: “Replacing 6,450 conventional lights will save nearly $800,000 a year in electricity bills and maintenance costs. Sydney will be the first city in Australia to install the new LED street and park lights across its entire city centre, and joins other major cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Los Angeles and San Francisco.”

Independent polls conducted in the trial areas show that Sydney residents agree with the City Council’s move: 90% supported the rollout of the lights on Sydney’s streets.

[…]

Sydney’s LED transformation follows a rigorous testing phase conducted as a contributor to The Climate Group’s Global LED Trial. The Global Trial, undertaken in more than 10 major world cities, including Hong Kong, London, New York and Toronto, has put almost 30 different outdoor LED lighting products to the test. The City’s successful trial results also reflect those of the wider Global Trial: LED products are reliable, use 50-70% less energy and produce fewer carbon emissions – and have outshone traditional street lighting with more attractive light.

[…]

Read the full article here