Electric car recharging station in Vancouver.

Clean Air

Our goal: Breathe the cleanest air of any major city in the world

As the city grows, we will continue to generate even more pollution. We are working in partnership with businesses, residents, and other levels of government to achieve our clean air target.

Read about the:

Our target: Meet or beat the most stringent air quality guidelines from Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and the World Health Organization

Progress we've made so far

Clean Air Chart
Hover on data points for more information on that year's performance.
To learn more about this metric, see the 'How We Measure Success' section below.

We have excellent air quality, but human health impacts can still occur at current pollutant levels. Now is the time to focus on the pollutants of most concern.

  • 8.1 - Work with Metro Vancouver to ensure there are at least two permanent air quality stations within city limits.
  • 8.2 - Develop an electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure strategy to support EV uptake.
  • 8.3 - Investigate labeling gas pumps for their GHG and air quality impacts.
  • 8.4 - Work with Metro Vancouver to ensure air quality data and information is available for sources and locations across the city. 

Our 2015-2016 successes

Recent initiatives that bring us closer to reaching the Clean Air goal.

In December 2015 at COP21, British Columbia became the 14th jurisdiction to sign on to the International Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance .

We support this move, which is aligned with our Renewable City Strategy goal of renewably powered transportation.

Zero-emission vehicles

Zero-emission vehicles in use today:

  • Battery-electric
  • Plug-in hybrid
  • Biofuel
  • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

In April 2015, the Province of BC renewed its incentive for clean-energy vehicles.

Provincial incentive program

The previous incentive program was so well subscribed that the three-year funding was exhausted in just 10 months. In addition to the vehicle incentive, which provides a rebate of up to $6,000, prospective vehicle buyers can also receive up to $3,000 in the provincial Scrap-It program  for trading in older vehicles.

The provincial government is also providing up to $4,500, or 75% of installation costs, for electric vehicle charging stations in apartment and condo buildings.

Get more details about our successes: Read the implementation update for 2015-2016  (8 MB)

Our 2014-2015 successes

Initiatives that brought us closer to reaching the Clean Air goal from 2014 to 2015.

We completed a multi-year electric vehicle (EV) installation program, installing 111 stations throughout Vancouver since May 2011. Of these, 76 are available for public use, with another 14 located in multi-unit buildings for resident use. This helps address public concerns about the lack of infrastructure for charging “on the go.” 

In 2015, the International Maritime Organization’s new regulations on fuel contaminants and air pollution in the shipping industry came into effect.

Adopted via the federal government, this will reduce sulphur content in marine fuel from 1% to 0.1%, having an instant benefit to local air quality. The 10-fold reduction in sulphur content within coastal North America’s Emission Control Area will have a direct and instant effect on reducing sulphur dioxide in the harbour. Enforcement is in the hands of Transport Canada. Success to-date is unknown, though some noncompliance has been found in US ports.

Get more details about our successes: Read the implementation update for 2014-2015  (2 MB)

Get the latest Greenest City news

Sign up for our Greenest City newsletter, and get news on our progress, programs, and initiatives. You'll also be notified of  local sustainability events and volunteer opportunities.

Learn more

Initiatives that are helping us reach our goal and targets

Electric vehicles

Find where you can charge your electric vehicle and learn how we're supporting people and businesses in Vancouver to use electric vehicles.

Neighbourhood Energy Strategy

The Neighbourhood Energy Strategy will help develop additional neighbourhood energy systems throughout Vancouver.