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Downtown Vancouver

Why a renewable city

Vancouver has grown over the years and now uses over 59 million gigajoules of energy a year.

Since Vancouver was founded in 1886, it has grown into a world-class city that now use over 59 million gigajoules (GJ) of energy a year—that’s enough energy to get to the moon and back 6,500 times—and releases 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 as a result.

To improve the standard of living for everyone in our city, we must transform so that our city gets 100% of our energy from renewable sources.

Energy use

Our energy use is currently 31% renewable, with the remaining fossil fuel fraction dominated by:

  • Natural gas for space heat and hot water
  • Gasoline for passenger vehicle use

Our energy use and resulting greenhouse gas emissions are primarily from:

  • Buildings 
  • Transportation
Energy Sources Chart

Why we need to change

Fossil fuels can no longer be relied upon to provide the benefits they have in the past. We can either postpone action and play catch-up at a later date, or act now to enhance our quality of life, improve equity and make Vancouver more economically strong.

Burning fossil fuels:

  • Worsens air quality
  • Has direct impacts on human health
  • Accelerates the loss of natural habitats
  • Affects agricultural production, among other things

We are now seeing changes in our city that will continue to worsen in the foreseeable future because of fossil fuels, changes such as:

  • Sea level rise
  • More frequent and more severe heat waves
  • Increased frequency and severity of storms
  • Increased winter rainfall
  • Summer droughts
  • Less snow