Supercharging clean technology innovation, to address climate change, is a high priority for many governments and our global society. Consequently, when a city – such as, San Borja, Lima Province, Peru – identifies over 50 billion tonnes (carbon dioxide equivalent) of potential greenhouse gas reductions we’re faced with a lavish range of enticing choices†.
At the same time, turning profitable carbon opportunities into high impact delivered solutions is often far more challenging than it appears at first sight. It is not just an innovation task, there are many systems, beliefs, cultural and mindset pieces that are inherently involved in success.
To assist San Borja an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) low carbon policy review team (including myself) recommended an integrated framework for the city. Carbon abatement potential and cost are important considerations. Similarly, the city’s leadership, especially the San Borja mayor’s, passion and advocacy for change is of great importance. Visibility and enjoyment, awareness, community and business support are also significant factors. Ultimately, the low carbon transformation is likely to succeed when the people of the city regard sustainability practice as a norm.
This is, we think, the first published integral review and framework for low carbon city wide innovation. The review, available here from APEC, evaluates action using integral theory recognising human motivation (internal – what I and we care about) alongside objective measurement (external). Explicitly considering paradigms, personal motivation, world-views and cultural norms lead to far stronger outcomes, high innovation impact and competitive sustainable advantages.
† Opportunities include: Residential, commercial and municipal low carbon building design; renewable energy; community energy management systems; area energy; planning; waste; transport; urban planning and policy changes facilitating low carbon initiatives; walking, cycling and public transport use instead of private cars; avoiding waste, recycling, waste stream re-use; accessibility encouraging adoption of sustainable choices; Lowering the urban heat island impact; and, the likelihood of alternate travel, consumption and energy use choices. The APEC report lists the technical background from pages 1 to 13 and the integral framework and action opportunities from pages 14 to 70.
Image: Policy Review for APEC Low Carbon Model Town Phase 4 Final Report San Borja, Lima, Peru page 18 (pdf)