Session Information

Mayor's Roundtable: At the Forefront of a Low Carbon Future

Date: Friday, March 4

Time: 8:30am -9:30am

Format: Mini Plenary

Cities stand on the front lines of climate disruption. But they’re also a lead solution to the global crisis. Cities have been the most entrepreneurial on climate policy, have been nimbly shifting to a low-carbon future, all the while growing their local green economy. they open up efficiencies and economies of scale with respect to services, urban planning, transportation networks, resource recovery, and much more. In this spirit, we’re presenting a star international lineup of mayors who are leading the way for senior governments with ambitious renewable energy targets and smart green infrastructure investments. These leaders will outline their innovations, share successes, compare notes on ongoing challenges, and outline post-COP21 plans and objectives. A GLOBE Series “must-see session.”

Topic Speakers

In November 2014, Gregor Robertson was elected to a third term as Mayor of Vancouver. He was re-elected to continue building upon the accomplishments of his first six years in office:

  • Working to end street homelessness
  • Addressing housing affordability
  • Improving public transit
  • Making Vancouver the greenest city in the world

Urban issues

Mayor Robertson is also a national advocate for urban issues as Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Big City Mayors’ Caucus, focusing on public infrastructure, housing, and transit.

A sustainable and thriving economy

Mayor Robertson spearheaded the creation of the city’s first comprehensive Economic Action Strategy, and is committed to growing a sustainable and thriving economy in Vancouver focused on high-growth sectors like digital media, clean technology, and renewable energy.

Green Capital

Building on the successful legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympics, which has generated over $350 million in economic impact and created more than 3,000 new jobs in the Metro Vancouver region, Mayor Robertson has established Vancouver internationally as the Green Capital — a city where going green is good for business.

He has also overseen the creation and implementation of the award-winning Greenest City 2020 Action Plan that aims to make Vancouver an environmental leader in everything from energy efficiency and waste reduction to clean air and local food.

Award-winning city

Under Mayor Robertson’s leadership, Vancouver continues to rank as one of the most liveable cities in the world, with one of the most competitive environments for attracting new jobs and investment. The City of Vancouver has also been named the Most Innovative Organization in the province by BC Business Magazine for its open data initiative.

Housing a top priority

Mayor Robertson has made affordable house a top priority, with an aggressive, ten-year plan to provide thousands of affordable housing units for Vancouverites of all ages, while ensuring that existing affordable housing is protected. As Mayor, he has overseen significant progress towards the goal of ending street homelessness by 2015, by opening new homeless shelters while leveraging significant investments in new social housing throughout the city.

Before entering politics

Prior to entering politics, Gregor co-founded Happy Planet, a Vancouver-based socially responsible company that produces organic juices and promotes health and nutrition.

Gregor and his wife Amy have four children: Terra, Satchel, Jinagh and Johanna. He is an avid soccer and hockey fan, and can occasionally be seen around town playing his tuba or drums.

Appointments to advisory boards and committees

  • Hastings Institute Board
  • Vancouver Economic Development Commission
  • Vancouver Economic Development Corporation
  • Harbour Park Developments Ltd

Appointments to regional bodies

  • Director, Great Vancouver Regional District (Metro Vancouver)


Pekka Sauri is Deputy Mayor of Helsinki. He was born in Helsinki in 1954.  He graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1977 in psychology, education, psychiatry and philosophy.  He gained his Doctorate of Philosophy in 1990 from Brunel University, London, where he was also a visiting lecturer.

He was editor- in-chief of Suomi magazine in the 1980’s and was a radio journalist at Radio City Station and then Finnish Broadcasting Company until the early 2000’s with Nightline, a live phone-in programme for listeners in distress or mental crises. In total, he talked to over 12 000 people in live broadcast.

He became Party Secretary of the Green League of Finland in 1990, and was Chairman of the party from 1991-93 and President of the Federation of European Green Parties from 1995-97.

In the 1990’s he was consultant in mental health projects in several Finnish universities, including the Sibelius Academy, Academy of Fine Arts, Academy for Drama and University of Helsinki.

Dr. Sauri was President of Helsinki City Council from 2001-2003. He was elected Deputy Mayor of Helsinki in 2003 and re-elected in 2010 for a second seven-year term.

He has also worked as an independent researcher, educator, writer, translator and cartoonist.  He has published a number of books on psychology, communication and education. His first novel “Better Than Sex” (in Finnish) came out in 2014. He gained the degree of Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from Aalto University also in 2014.

Dr. Sauri lives in Helsinki with his family.