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Vancouverites reduced waste and carbon pollution in 2016-2017

June 27 2017 Another milestone year for Vancouver's Greenest City Action Plan!

"Vancouver is living proof that environmental sustainability and economic growth not only go hand in hand, but together are the foundation of our booming, green economy," says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

greenest-city-2020

This morning, the City of Vancouver released the sixth Greenest City Action Plan Implementation Update, highlighting significant accomplishments made in the 2016/2017 year, such as further increases in trips made by walking and biking.

Since introducing Mobi by Shaw Go - Vancouver's public bike share program, Mobi riders have covered 1.2 million kilometers. That's the equivalent to 30 trips around the world!

Quote from the mayor

"Vancouver is living proof that environmental sustainability and economic growth not only go hand in hand, but together are the foundation of our booming, green economy," says Mayor Gregor Robertson. "Vancouver is on track to exceed many - if not all - of our Greenest City targets. The City will keep pushing aggressively to reduce our climate pollution and build a resilient, green economy while bringing the benefits back to our residents with a healthier, livable and inclusive city."

Progress

Since 2011, we have made significant progress towards our 2020 targets:

  • 49% increase in green and local food jobs since 2010
  • 43% decrease in GHGs per square metre from new buildings since 2007
  • 56% decrease in GHGs from City operations since 2007
  • 32% decrease in vehicle km driven per person since 2007
  • 27% decrease in waste sent to landfill and incinerator since 2008
  • 42% increase in number of neighbourhood food assets since 2010
  • 82,000 trees planted since 2010
  • 20 hectares of natural space restored or enhanced since 2010

In addition to the above progress, Vancouver also made bold moves as we take on the next phase of the Greenest City Action Plan - to eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels before 2050.

The Renewable City Strategy (RCS) is our 30 plan to help us realize a future without fossil fuels. The plan focuses on reducing energy use and transitioning to renewable energy in the two sectors that produce the most carbon pollution in Vancouver: buildings and transportation.

The RCS isn't a ban on natural gas and doesn't restrict gas used for cooking and barbecues.

Council takes action

Vancouver City Council approved the Zero Emissions Buildings Plan last July and updated the Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning External website that came into effect on May 1st. The policy will cut emissions by 50 per cent in all new rezoned buildings without increasing construction or operation costs and designers and builders are still allowed to use natural gas. Later this year, Canada's largest Passive House<http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/build-a-passive-house.aspx> multi-family building will be completed, reducing heating energy use in this particular building by almost 90 per cent.

Council also approved the Electric Vehicle Ecosystem Strategy last November that will help Vancouver prepare for the significant increase in the number of electric vehicles expected over the next five years. Use of the City's EV charging stations has more than doubled in the past two years and BC Hydro is predicting 300,000 EVs in the province by 2030 - 30,000 of those will be in Vancouver.

Today Council approved two reports that will help increase access to charging infrastructure by allowing businesses and homeowners without parking to apply for on-street charging permits; and, introduce user fees at public charging stations at sixteen City-owned locations to ensure fair access, increase turnover and encourage those users with home or workplace charging to use those options. Because of the low cost of BC Hydro's clean electricity, charging vehicles at these locations will still be far less expensive than fossil-fueled vehicles.

A renewable future

A renewable future means:

  • More affordable fossil fuel free choices
  • Reduced energy costs
  • More jobs
  • Cleaner air
  • Less pollution
  • Healthier environment for our children and grandchildren

Vancouver has made tremendous strides as we work towards achieving our Greenest City targets and will continue to work with and support residents and businesses across the City to reach our goals! In the meantime, we want to thank all Vancouver residents and businesses for their hard work and dedication to helping us become the greenest city.

Learn more about the Greenest City Action Plan.