VANCOUVER—The City of Vancouver took new steps towards advancing zero-emission buildings.
Officials announced city council took action in response to a series of reports they say will collectively remove or avoid over 50,000 tonnes of carbon pollution in Vancouver per year.
The four Climate Emergency Action Plan reports include the following actions:
- Requiring cooling and air filtration in new buildings to protect residents from air pollution and heatwaves.
- Reducing carbon pollution from large existing office and retail buildings by 40 per cent by 2030 and requiring zero emissions by 2040.
- Cutting carbon pollution from all new buildings to nearly zero by 2025, a 90 per cent reduction compared to 2007 levels.
- Creating first-of-their-kind requirements in North America to limit carbon pollution from building materials and reduce waste.
- Exploring options to remove gas for cooking and fireplaces in new residential buildings.
- Prioritizing electrification over renewable gas in new and existing buildings.
- Streamlining existing regulations to make renovations easier.
- Pioneering processes to track and cap emissions from large existing commercial buildings.
- Providing supports for owners of existing multifamily buildings, detached houses and commercial buildings to access energy coaching and rebates for heat pumps.
- Delivering a roadmap of future regulations to support industry and resident readiness.
- Funding existing non-market housing to make these options more climate-resilient.
The Climate Emergency Action Plan analyzed the sources of Vancouver’s carbon pollution and committed to cutting these emissions in half by 2030.
“The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report states it is ‘now or never,’ to avoid the worst of climate breakdown. Vancouver has the tools and ability to act,” said Mayor Kennedy Steward in a press release. “Yesterday, we did just that by taking meaningful action to reduce emissions from buildings, while making them more climate-resilient. Tackling emissions from existing buildings, shifting our construction practices and prioritizing residents’ safety, health and comfort is a win-win.”