VANCOUVER — The Metro Vancouver regional district has achieved corporate carbon neutrality for 2019 with the potential to continue through to 2022.
“This puts the region in a strong position to advance important climate actions as part of Climate 2050 and achieve its ambitious climate change and environmental goals,” a Metro Vancouver release stated.
“We are pleased to join the ranks of forward-thinking global climate leaders with this significant milestone. Metro Vancouver’s carbon neutrality is thanks to tangible initiatives whose benefits resonate throughout our communities. Today, we call on the region’s businesses, institutions and residents to accelerate their own actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Metro Vancouver board of directors chair Sav Dhaliwal in the statement.
“It’s so great to see Metro Vancouver reach carbon neutrality in their 2019 operations. Local governments play an essential role in the fight against climate change and it’s leadership like this that will help Canada exceed our Paris Agreement targets and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” added federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson.
The carbon neutrality achievement is due to ecological restoration of Burns Bog, the “lungs of the Lower Mainland,” parkland acquisitions at Widgeon Marsh in Coquitlam and Codd Wetland in Pitt Meadows, use of trenchless tunnel construction methods for major liquid waste infrastructure projects, energy-efficient boilers and appliances in Metro Vancouver housing sites and increasing the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in Metro Vancouver’s fleet.
“Local governments have been taking action on climate change for nearly 20 years, and many have declared climate emergencies and signed the provincial Climate Action Charter, committing to pursue carbon neutrality. Through Climate 2050, Metro Vancouver aims to ensure regional infrastructure, ecosystems, and communities are resilient to the impacts of climate change and has set a commitment to becoming a carbon-neutral region by 2050,” explained Metro Vancouver climate action committee chair Adriane Carr.
Implementation of Climate 2050 is underway and structured around different issue areas highlighted in the plan’s roadmap, the release stated. Public and stakeholder engagement is ongoing on the roadmaps and the Clean Air Plan, which will be the next iteration of the Metro Vancouver plan to manage air quality and greenhouse gases in the region.