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City kicks off Climate Week

September 18 2017 Significant progress made towards Greenest City goals

"This Climate Week, Vancouver celebrates our momentum in growing a booming green economy while striving to be the greenest city in the world by 2020," says Mayor Gregor Robertson.


Today marks the first day of Climate Week 2017 and is an opportunity to reflect on the growing momentum in the fight against climate change in Vancouver and around the world.

"This Climate Week, Vancouver celebrates our momentum in growing a booming green economy while striving to be the greenest city in the world by 2020," says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

"We're on track to meet or exceed many of our Greenest City Action Plan targets but there is more work to be done: aggressively pursuing our goal to be 100 per cent renewably powered by 2050 is the next important phase of building Vancouver's resiliency, while bringing the benefits back to residents with a healthy, liveable and inclusive city."

Progress towards Greenest City targets

Vancouver has made significant progress towards its Greenest City Action Plan 2020 targets including:

  • 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

Benefits to residents 

Benefits to Vancouver residents from this progress have included:

  • Cleaner air - active transportation, transit and electric cars all help reduce air pollution
  • Higher quality buildings with better indoor air quality
  • A stronger economy - the number of jobs in green building and design increased by 40 per cent between 2014 and 2016
  • Cost savings - in 2015, Vancouver residents and businesses saved approximately $54 million in energy costs (relative to 2007) due to better energy efficiency

Renewable City Strategy

Under the umbrella of the Greenest City Action Plan, in 2015 the City of Vancouver adopted the Renewable City Strategy - a 30-year plan to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy and reduce carbon pollution by at least 80 per cent before 2050.

The strategy focuses first and foremost on improving energy efficiency (so we use less energy to begin with) and transitioning to renewable energy in the two sectors that produce the majority of carbon pollution in Vancouver: buildings and transportation. Despite reports to the contrary, residents and businesses can continue to use natural gas as an energy source, including for cooking and barbequing.

Since adopting the Renewable City Strategy in 2015, City staff have continued to consult and engage with residents, businesses, stakeholders and partners to inform and guide existing and future actions. Between January and August 2017, City staff attended over 45 events and meetings with more than 2,000 people.

Learn more about the Renewable City Strategy

Provincial and federal government initiatives

Vancouver isn't the only one taking action. Earlier this year, BC took an important step forward by adopting the BC Energy Step Code, a province-wide standard for improved energy efficiency for new buildings and aligned with Vancouver's Green Building Policy for Rezoning. The update which came into effect back in May, will cut carbon pollution by 50 percent in all new rezoned buildings without increasing construction or operating costs.

The new Provincial government has promised further action, and the Federal government continues to implement the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

While we won't get there overnight, the City is committed to ensuring the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy provides equitable access to solutions, will reduce costs and increase choice.

The City will support solutions that make the most sense for residents and businesses and will work with partners to deliver those solutions. Staff will continue to consult and engage every step of the way and will change course if viable and affordable solutions aren't available.

Vancouver is doing its part to help British Columbia and Canada deliver on their commitments to reduce carbon pollution by 80 per cent by 2050 and is one of many cities around the world committed to reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. San Francisco, San Diego, Victoria, and Hawaii are just a few who are well on their way to transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy.

Request a meeting

Staff are also available to meet with residents and businesses.

Get a group of 10 or more people together and request a 100 renewable energy talk.

Request a meeting