Greenest City news

SEPTEMBER 2021

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Learn what the latest IPCC report means for Vancouver
  • Celebrate homeowner heroes making green home retrofits
  • Get an update on our School Streets program pilot expansion
  • Learn about the latest Greenest City Scholar projects
  • Check out local events and green opportunities
NOTEWORTHY: Starting September 1, children 12 and under can ride TransLink services for free. This new program will make it easier and more affordable for families to get around in a climate-friendly way.  Learn more by visiting TransLink’s website

Greenest City news

CODE RED ON CLIMATE ACTION

On the heels of record-breaking extreme weather this summer, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report containing irrefutable evidence that climate change is human-caused, it is worsening, and it requires bold and immediate action to avoid further devastation.

Internationally, it has been agreed that global warming must be limited to 1.5 degrees to prevent global catastrophe. The IPCC report emphasizes that this limit will be reached in the near term. The only way to prevent exceeding it is by urgently stepping up our efforts to cut carbon pollution.

In Vancouver, the focus of the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) is to drastically cut carbon pollution from our biggest local sources: burning fossil fuels in our vehicles and in our buildings. CEAP puts Vancouver on track to reduce our carbon pollution by 50% by 2030, in alignment with the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. We’re continuing to gather public input on the actions in this plan to ensure it’s both effective and equitable.

YOUR TURN

Learn more about the IPCC and read the report by visiting the IPCC website

Read Vancouver’s CEAP Summary here. To find out the latest opportunities to give input on this plan, be sure to keep reading this newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

On September 24, people everywhere will demand climate action as part of the Global Climate Strike. You can find out what’s happening in Vancouver on September 24 by visiting the website or the Instagram account of one of the local organizer groups, the Sustainabiliteens.


SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY
 

Greenest City news

EVERY DAY ENERGY CHAMPIONS

Over half or Vancouver’s carbon pollution comes from burning natural gas to heat space and water in our buildings, and homeowners are doing their part to change this.

Derek and Donna Nanson have been taking steps to retrofit their home to be more energy efficient: they replaced their gas furnace, hot water heater and clothes dryer with an electric heat pump, they installed solar panels, and they took on several more upgrades to improve their home’s energy efficiency. According to Derek, “Our energy consumption is 1/3 of what a similar-sized energy-efficient house would be and about 1/8 of the consumption of similar-sized houses in the neighbourhood.”

We’re working to make sure Vancouver’s buildings are constructed and operated in a climate-friendly way. This means updating policy to ensure greener buildings, creating resources and incentives to help homeowners with low-carbon renovations, supporting local trades and supply chains to build a thriving local renovation economy, and more. 

Later this fall, as part of our Green Home Retrofit Plan, we’re asking owners of detached homes for their input on the strategies we are proposing to help make home retrofits easier. Watch our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to learn when and where you can give input on the Green Home Retrofit Plan.

 YOUR TURN
 
Here 
are some ways you can be a part of the solution:

  • Visit our website to learn steps you can take to reduce carbon pollution in your home.
  • October 6 is Energy Efficiency Day, in recognition of the over 436,000 Canadians that are working in energy efficiency. Are you a business owner? Add your organization to the Energy Efficiency movement.
  • Track how much energy you’re using at home. If you’re a BC Hydro customer, sign up for the HydroHome app, which makes it easier to track, monitor and remotely control how much electricity you are using. To get started, log into your BC Hydro MyHydro account.

SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY


Greenest City news

EXPANDING SCHOOL STREETS PILOT

We’re excited to announce that the City of Vancouver will be continuing the School Streets program in the 2021-22 school year at Hastings Elementary, Lord Roberts Elementary and Van Horne Elementary schools. 

The Schools Streets program was first piloted in spring 2021 at Lord Roberts Elementary, where a block adjacent to the school was designated for walking, biking and rolling during school pick-up and drop-off times. School Streets help improve health and safety by reducing traffic and emissions, and they support our Climate Emergency Action Plan target to ensure that 2/3 of all trips in Vancouver are made by active transportation by the year 2030. 

In its pilot year, the program was received positively by parents, and it reported 29% families were driving less. Read the full report and watch the video for more details. 

YOUR TURN
 
Volunteers are needed to make this program a success! Find out the details and apply to volunteer. 

We will also be expanding the program further – if you’re interested in bringing a School Street to your school, fill out this quick survey.



SUPPORTING: CLIMATE EMERGENCY


Greenest City news

RESEARCH TO SUPPORT THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY

Congratulations to this year’s cohort of Greenest City Scholars for completing another year of successful research. 
 
Since 2010, the UBC Sustainability Initiative and the City of Vancouver have worked together to provide UBC graduate students an opportunity to work on projects that advance social and environmental sustainability across Vancouver. Over 180 projects have been completed to date, with many providing valuable research that supports implementation of the Climate Emergency Action Plan.
 
A few examples of the projects completed this year include:

  • An inventory of local low-carbon materials to reduce carbon emissions in low-rise residential construction.
  • Research measuring non-exhaust emissions from Vancouver’s light-duty fleet vehicles with recommendations on ways to reduce emissions and achieve cleaner air.
  • A study examining how industrial lands may be developed to facilitate sustainable, walkable, and liveable neighbourhoods.
  • A framework to measure and track community initiatives and actions addressing climate change.

YOUR TURN
 

Want to learn more about these projects? Each project results in a report documenting the Scholar’s work, research and outcomes. Check out all the Scholar reports in UBC’s project libraryOn September 29, join UBC for a conference featuring the work of all Sustainability Scholars participating in the program. Learn more and register by visiting UBC’s website
 
Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, where we’ll also share more about these projects. 


 
SUPPORTING:
CLIMATE EMERGENCY


Local green opportunities

When attending in-person events please follow COVID-19 health & safety precautions.

Streetwise Cycling Online
Any time
New to cycling? This free educational series from HUB helps adult beginner riders gain knowledge and skills at their own pace to start their cycling journey with confidence.
Online
 
SPEC Team Meetings
Various
Want to share your knowledge on energy & transportation, food growing, or waste, and connect with other like-minded individuals? The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation has ongoing meet-ups in these areas. Check the link for topics and meeting dates.
Online
 
Farmer’s Markets
Various
Many of the Vancouver Farmer’s Markets are now open for the summer. Visit the website to plan your visit (and be sure to follow Covid safety protocols in place).
Various
 
UBC Farmer’s Market
Tuesdays & Saturdays
Come out to UBC Farm any Tuesday evening from June until November to stock up on some fresh vegetables, fruits and more produced locally from the Farm.
UBC Farm
 

Public Forum: Metro Vancouver Development Cost Charges Updates
September 15
Metro Vancouver has had a liquid waste development cost charges (DCCs) program in place for almost 25 years to ensure that new development in the region is contributing to the cost of liquid waste infrastructure. Join Metro Vancouver to hear staff present on the proposed updates to this program. 

Various
 
Discovering Beaver Installation and Workshop
September 15
Renfrew-Collingwood used to be a forest filled with biodiverse wetlands and interconnected stream systems. Help create a collaborative Beaver Pond installation to honour the natural history of the neighbourhood while learning more about the land.

Still Moon Arts Society
 
Zero Waste Recycling Drop-Off Event
September 18
Gather up old clothes and shoes, and electronics you no longer use, and bring them to our Free Electronics and Used Clothing Reuse and Recycling Event. 

Killarney Community Centre
 
EcoStewards
September 18
Come volunteer to help the Stanley Park ecosystem by managing and removing invasive plant species. 

Stanley Park Ecology Society Office

Habitat Restoration Event at Natal Street and Cornett Road
September 18
Bring your gloves and boots for a Still Creek habitat restoration event. Help remove invasive species while learning about native vegetation and their traditional and ecological roles. 

Still Moon Arts Society

Fall Go By Bike Week
September 27 to October 3
Get out and ride your bike anywhere and everywhere – log your trips online with HUB Cycling for a chance to track your distances, see how much carbon pollution you’ve eliminated, and win great prizes. 

Various

Research to Action: Advancing Urban Sustainability Conference
September 29
Join UBC Sustainability Scholars for an afternoon of engaged discussions on a diverse range of applied sustainability projects produced by UBC graduate students in collaboration with partner organizations including the City of Vancouver.

Online

Cool ‘Hood Champs Climate Action Workshops
October 7 and 13
Register for this workshop series designed to give you the skills to become a climate champion in your neighbourhood. Identify climate impacts and solutions, envision your ideal climate-friendly neighbourhood, connect your action to policy, and more

Trout Lake Community Centre

Fun-G-I (Fun and Greatly Important)
October 13
Join this Metro Vancouver webinar to learn about essential fungi that clean up our forests and keep them running. 

Online

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