Earth Day 2016 - Reflections on COP21: A Call to Think Globally and Act Locally

UNACTO Journal: Read our recap.

23 April was UNACTO Earth Day 2016 – Reflections on COP21: A Call to Think Globally and Act Locally!

The event took place at Hart House in the University of Toronto and featured leaders from the government, local community, academic and private sectors through an exhibit of art and environmental initiatives, a keynote, and two panel discussions.

Proceeds from the event went towards funding UNA-Canada’s International Development & Diplomacy Internship Programme


Event Schedule

12 p.m.

Doors Open to the Exhibit 1:15 p.m.

Welcoming Remarks by UNACTO President Syed Khusro

Opening Remarks by UNAC President Kathryn White 1:25 p.m.

Performance by Irina Aoucheva’s Dance Studio

1:40 p.m.

Keynote Address by French Consul General Marc Trouyet 2 p.m.

Panel Discussion – Carbon Pricing 3 p.m.

Panel Discussion – Role of Cities 4 p.m.

Closing Remarks


Welcoming Remarks Syed Khusro, President of UNACTO

Opening Remarks Kathryn White, President and CEO of UNA-Canada

Kathryn White has served as the President and CEO of the United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada), since 2004. UNA-Canada is a results-based, disciplined and historic civil society institution that has grown significantly under her watch, meeting its important national mandate of educational outreach to Canadians in order to foster an understanding of, and support for the United Nations system in this country. She also serves as elected Vice-Chair of the Board of the World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA).

Prior to her work at UNA-Canada, she had been the head of Black & White Inc. an Ottawa-based international consultancy specializing in foreign and social policy research, and development. She has been recognized nationally and internationally for her leadership in issues ranging from youth-at-risk, climate change, disaster and crisis response and mitigation, the role of women in development, corporate social responsibility, international peace-building and conflict resolution. Her work successfully adapts policy questions and research into viable policy solutions and options for managers, executives, and senior public- and private-sector decision makers.

Ms. White has published on issues including the role of civil society in global health pandemics – which instigated a change of architecture at the UN in response to avian influenza; on successfully integrating dissent into global conferences; and on the perceptions of facilitators in the negotiation towards the Good Friday Accord in Northern Ireland.

Keynote Address

Marc Trouyet, Consul General of France in Toronto

The keynote address will focus on Mr. Trouyet's reflections on COP21, with a particular focus on the role of France as Chair of COP21 and Toronto in implementing the new international climate change agreement.

Mr. Trouyet has been a diplomat for almost fifteen years. Most recently he served in Paris as head of the department of French Overseas Development Assistance pertaining to governance issues. In this capacity, he supervised projects and expert missions on issues such as: post-crisis recovery and the rule of law; government reforms and urban governance; public finances; migration, and diasporas and development. For four years he was Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy in Australia. As Deputy Permanent Representative to the French United Nations mission in Rome, he engaged extensively with the World Food Program, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the Food and Agricultural Organization. He was previously the officer in charge of sustainable development issues in the United Nations division of the French Foreign Affairs department, and before that, he was responsible for modernizing consular services. Before joining the foreign service, Mr. Trouyet held various positions in the governing council of the Paris City Council for a period of five years. Prior to that, as a young graduate, he conducted various scientific projects with Paris X University on town planning and urban issues.

Panel Discussions

Carbon Pricing

Globally, carbon pricing is increasingly recognized as a tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Province of Ontario recently announced its cap and trade program, which will be implemented in early 2017 to curb emissions. This panel explored the implications of a price on carbon for individuals and businesses, along with the challenges and opportunities in implementing a province-wide carbon price.


Paul Evans, Deputy Minister of Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change

Alison Kemper, Associate Professor, Ryerson University

Tom Markowitz, President of Enerhope

Role of Cities

Cities consume roughly 2/3 of the world’s energy and create over 70 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. COP21 was one of the first times that cities were recognized as a major actor in addressing climate change. This panel will explored the key issues facing cities as it relates to adapting to and taking action on climate change. This discussion will consider what the role of city governments, local initiatives and individuals living in cities will be in the next phase of action on climate change.


John Cartwright, CEO of the Toronto and York Labour Council

Gord Perks, Toronto City Councillor (Ward 14)

Beth Savan, Senior Lecturer, University of Toronto & Community Leader and Activist

Mark Winfield, Associate Professor, York University

Artists & Exhibitors

Artists Hanna Broker, Sarah Di Paolo, Iwona Dufaj, Marie-France Essiambre, Caylah Hollingshead, Franke James, Megan Jeanes, Anya Mielniczek, Meaghan Ogilvie, Casey O'Neil, Daniel St-Amant and Nick Sweetman.


Building Up, CUSO International, Enerhope “Learn About Cap and Trade”, Gritlab: Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory, IRIS (Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability), LiveGreen Toronto, SmartCommute Transform TO, Renewed Computer Technology, Transactive Energy Future, and Drive4Data – Sustainable Electric Vehicle Mobility.

Dance Performance

Irina Aoucheva's Dance Studio

Irina Aoucheva's Dance Studio will entertained with a special ballet performance before the keynote address.