Tag Archives: climate change

Outcomes of COP23 Global Climate Summit

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Against a backdrop of newly rising greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, the world’s nations met in Bonn, Germany in November for the 23rd annual “conference of parties” (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

After the landmark Paris Climate Agreement two years ago, this year’s summit agenda focused on process-oriented negotiation points. The Agreement’s signatories now need to define how to implement the target of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.

These detailed processes will be written down in the so-called Rulebook, an operational handbook that defines technical and administrative tasks. Examples include how countries set and transparently report on their carbon reduction pledges and how they track their climate adaptation efforts.

In contrast to some of the previous summits, preparatory work in the run-up to the Bonn conference had not yielded more than a few “informal notes” that served as starting points for the negotiations. In the end, however, there have been some achievements:… Read More

Psychology of a green workplace

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Floods, wildfires, famines, droughts, species extinction: climate-change-induced disasters are inflicting a heavy toll not only on the environment but also on our mental health, according to a recent report released by the American Psychological Association (APA) entitled “Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance.”

The APA’s report concludes that direct experience with a natural disaster, such as loss of property or personal physical harm, can have immediate and acute consequences on our mental health, including trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. After Hurricane Katrina, for example, studies found that suicide and suicidal ideation more than doubled in people living in areas affected by the hurricane, and one in six met the criteria for PTSD. Psychologists are calling this type of mental illness ‘ecoanxiety.’

There are also significant long-term effects on mental health. The “unrelenting day-to-day despair” can erode mental health causing chronic psychological consequences. “Gradual, long-term changes in climate can also surface a number of different emotions, including fear, anger, feelings of powerlessness, or exhaustion,” the APA writes. Ecoanxiety can also impact our physical health. Research has shown that chronic stress can lower one’s immune system, causing one to be susceptible to illness and disease.

Although dealing successfully with mental health issues in the workplace is largely dependent on having a positive internal corporate culture, good people management, and wellness programs for employees — there is also a role for corporate real estate professionals. … Read More

Using education to foster action: making sustainability relatable for children

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Q&A: JLL’s Emily Scofield

Emily Scofield is the Director of Energy Sustainability Services (ESS) and Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) for the Bank of America account. She is also the author of a children’s environmental book entitled “CoCo and Dean: Explorers of the World.” The book introduces current environmental issues through the outdoor adventures of siblings, CoCo and Dean.

The concepts of carbon footprint, landfills and ocean plastics can be heavy, but Emily keeps it light-hearted through the siblings’ relatable interactions with nature and one another. She draws readers into the story even more with unique illustrations juxtaposed against photographs of nature. These images allow the reader to creatively imagine the scene depicted in Scofield’s text. The book has been used to reinforce lessons about sustainability in schools and with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America.

Emily Scofield’s love for nature and environmental protection has been present since she was running around the creek bank behind her childhood home and exploring the woods at her grandparent’s farm. As a pre-teen she realized the business opportunity in being sustainable and collected her family’s aluminum cans for recycling money. During the Earth Day revival of 1990, Emily was made aware of global environmental issues that further stoked her passion for the planet. This passion has never waned and Emily’s career path reflects her dedication. Before her children were born, Emily was an adjunct professor at four different colleges in North Carolina, teaching Environmental Science, Issues in Science and other related subjects.

Emily continues to educate others on sustainability through her position at JLL and now through the book, “CoCo and Dean: Explorers of the World”. Emily intends for CoCo and Dean to be the first in a series of adventure tales to elevate children’s eco-awareness. Emily invites you to journey with CoCo and Dean in three short stories as they travel the world to spread the word of environmental responsibility.… Read More

Islands: on the front line of climate change

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Covering more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, oceans have an intrinsic relationship with weather and climate. Oceans absorb heat from the atmosphere producing winds, currents and storms that bring fresh water to land. Our oceans’ immense capacity to absorb excess heat has helped to mitigate rising global temperatures. But scientific studies show that our oceans are at a tipping point. We are seeing the impacts of global warming on oceans, from rising temperatures and acidity to increasing intensity of storms and flooding. And populations whose survival is dependent on the ocean, such as islands and coastal regions, are experiencing the worst effects of climate change.

Palauan islands are experiencing erosion attributed to mollosks eating away the limestone and the continual push from the tectonic plates beneath. The local community is amazed at the height of the tides and very strongly believe this is a result of climate change.

Palauan islands are experiencing erosion and increased soil salinity attributed to rising sea levels. The local community is amazed at the height of the tides and very strongly believe this is a result of climate change.

Lisa Hinde, Sustainability Manager in JLL’s Energy and Sustainability Services, recently visited the remote island nation of Palau located in the Western Pacific Ocean where climate change has become a daily threat to the country’s survival. As a participant of the Island Innovation Program, Hinde witnessed first-hand the magnitude of the challenge and how governments and businesses are working together to help.

“I see islands like Palau as the ‘canary in the mine’ of global climate change. The effects they feel, being low-lying and prone to tropical storms, show stressors sooner than other places in the world,” Hinde said.… Read More

Earth Hour: Dimming commercial building lights for a brighter future

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03_eh-60-logo_stacked-clr_jpegEarth Hour is the largest grassroots movement focused on building awareness of climate change. The movement, which encourages people to limit their use of electricity for one hour, has empowered people around the globe to mobilize – in person and online – in support of fighting climate change. From its humble origins in 2007 as a one-city event in Sydney, the movement organized by the World Wildlife Fund has grown steadily each year, and spread to 178 countries across seven continents by 2016.

This year marks the eleventh annual Earth Hour celebration. On March 25 at 8:30 p.m. your local time, millions of people will turn off their lights for one hour to promote a more sustainable future for our planet. In more dramatic fashion, countries and organizations will show their support by turning off the lights on hundreds of historic landmarks and monuments. Last year the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Empire State Building all went dark for Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is an important reminder of the impact real estate has on the environment. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial and residential buildings in the U.S. consume 39 percent of the country’s total energy consumption and account for 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions – one of the primary greenhouse gases that cause global warming. In addition to increasing carbon emissions, the growth of our cities is causing harmful light pollution. A number of companies and cities that have participated in Earth Hour used the event as a launching pad for other energy management and sustainable efforts.… Read More