Centre for Environment, University of Toronto

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2010 4:10 p.m. LOCATION: Woodsworth College, 119 St. George Street, Rm. WW 121

SCOTT PASTERNACK, Supervisor, Policy Development, Toronto

Environment Office, City of Toronto (brief bio below) TOPIC: “Local Government Efforts to

Address Climate Change” (abstract below)No registration or fee required; all are welcome.

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********************************************************************************ABSTRACT: The views expressed in this abstract and in this presentation are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the City of Toronto. The need to mitigate and adapt to climate change is perhaps most pressing for our cities. The larger populations, more extensive infrastructure, and higher degrees of economic activity of cities often results in a greater reliance on resources from the energy, transportation, and agriculture sectors, the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, cities have limited authority to comprehensively address this growing problem. Against this backdrop, local and regional governments in North America and around the globe have accomplished a great deal in addressing climate change. I will spend part of my talk discussing the sustainability response plans for Toronto and New York City, two cities where I have contributed to the climate change programs. What should become clear from this discussion is that many of the issues that shape how cities respond -- for example, emission standards, fuel
economy standards, food labelling standards -- are left predominantly if not exclusively to other orders of government. This dilutes the voice of cities and the voice of the voting, tax-paying residents whom cities represent. What is the best way forward? I would like to the engage the audience in a dialogue about whether the current approach is working and whether an alternative, multilevel governance approach to climate change that gives cities a credible, equal seat at the table might be a better way.
BRIEF BIO: Scott Pasternack is the Supervisor for Policy Development in the Toronto Environment Office, where he is responsible for climate change, green energy, and environmental sustainability initiatives. He previously served as environmental counsel for the New York City Law Department, where he represented the City in climate change, green energy, and environmental sustainability litigation and policy matters and advised Mayor Bloomberg’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability on PlaNYC 2030. Pasternack has also handled international environmental impact litigation for Earthjustice and worked on energy matters in private practice. An author of Defending the Environment and several articles in the field, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and New York University School of Law in New York City.