Climate issues proved to be a stumbling block at the latest meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) in Taormina, Italy where leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States were joined by the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission for a two-day summit to discuss trade and climate change, among other issues. However, in light of United States President Trump’s stated ambivalence towards the Paris accords, signed by all members of the G7 and strongly supported by the gathered leaders, the group’s other members stated their hope of reaffirming the commitment formed in Paris in 2015. These hopes, nonetheless, were unfortunately curtailed by the U.S.’s ongoing review of its climate change policies, a result of President Trump’s postponement the decision until after the G7 meeting. As such, the future of the Paris accords remains in question.

Meanwhile, European countries have taken decisive steps towards fulfilling their goals in the Paris accords. Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, in addition to attempts at convincing Trump to reconsider the accords, has shown signals of a strong climate agenda with the appointment of renowned climate advocate Nicolas Hulot as the minister responsible for energy and ecology as well as a stated intent to phase out cola power and double renewable capacity by 2022. Additionally, Switzerland backed, with 58.2 % support in a national vote, the phasing out of nuclear energy and the adoption of renewable sources in providing its energy. This plan is reported to provide billions of euros in subsidies to support the transition to renewables.

This support for renewable energy in France and Switzerland echoes similar policies across Europe, including Germany, and offers a positive sign of progress for the world’s climate as the U.S. ponders the future of its climate agenda.

Read about the G7’s official communique 

Macron affirms strong commitment to combating climate change

Switzerland affirms transition to clean energy.

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Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.