On April 29, Vancouver City Council approved the Climate Emergency Response as a roadmap that lays out ambitious local solutions to scale‐up climate action and limit warming to 1.5°C to avoid devastating climate breakdown, in line with recommendations made in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and the Paris Agreement.
The recommendations by City Council will mean a five‐fold increase of emission reductions to an average of 92,000 tonnes per year to achieve the City’s 2030 target of limiting warming to 1.5°C. The new targets represent a significant acceleration of the timing for the adopted measures to be realized over the timeframes of policies in place at the time of its adoption.
Vancouver has decreased emissions from buildings, transportation, and solid waste by 19,000 tonnes per year over the past decade. The Climate Emergency Response supports and advances a range of existing policies including the Greenest City Action Plan, the Renewable City Action Plan, and the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, updated in 2018. Six big moves are identified to dramatically reduce carbon pollution from buildings and transportation and to sequester carbon through conservation efforts. A set of 53 quick‐start actions complement the big moves and allow implementation to begin right away, building on Vancouver’s previous efforts.
Key strategies involve increases in active transportation, especially walking, and transit use; more zero emissions vehicles, space and water heating; reductions in carbon used in construction; and restoring forest and coastal ecosystems.
In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released a major report making a case to strive for 1.5°C. Every degree of warming beyond this threshold will lead to increased risks of extreme weather, more wildfires and floods, and increases in sea level rise. https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/
In the Vancouver Courier, OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle commented that “the Climate Emergency motion that I brought forward in early 2019, and the follow-up Climate Emergency Response plan. Moving ambitiously on addressing the Climate Emergency, with a strong equity lens, is one of the most significant moves this council has made, and has led the way for local governments across English-speaking Canada. I’m proud to have led that work so far, and to have seen it supported unanimously by council, and will continue working hard to see it keep moving forward.” https://www.vancourier.com/news/vancouver-councillors-reflect-on-first-year-in-office-1.23998427
City of Vancouver Documents
- Climate Emergency Response frequently asked questions PDF file (142 KB)
- Climate Emergency Response – Council amendments PDF file (56 KB)
- Climate Emergency Response report (as presented to Council) PDF file (609 KB)
- Council presentation (April 24, 2019) PDF file (1.7 MB)
Prepared by: Marta Farevaag, VCPC Chronology Committee
Last Updated: November 27, 2019