Milestone year for Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan

This morning, the City of Vancouver released the fifth Greenest City Action Plan Implementation Update, highlighting significant accomplishments made in the 2015/2016 year, such as further increases in trips made by walking and biking, and decreases in community and building greenhouse gases.

 “Cities are in a key position to lead meaningful action on climate change, and Vancouver is showing that environmental sustainability and economic growth are a powerful combo for success in achieving a diverse, resilient and inclusive economy,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver is meeting or exceeding many of our Greenest City targets, with excellent momentum going forward. We will continue to aggressively reduce our climate pollution while transitioning to a 100% renewably-powered city by 2050 or sooner.”

The Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP) is divided into 10 goal areas. Notable progress made in 2015/2016 towards achieving the GCAP goals include:

  • 20% decrease in greenhouse gases (GHGs) from buildings since 2007 – target met
  • 27% decrease in vehicle km driven per person since 2007 – target met
  • 50% of trips made by bike, walking or transit – target met
  • 15% decrease in community greenhouse gases since 2007
  • 23% decrease in solid waste sent to landfill or incinerator since 2008
  • 38% increase in neighbourhood food assets since 2010
  • nearly 49,000 new trees planted since 2010

In the last year, the City of Vancouver received 10 awards recognizing its climate leadership across the Greenest City target areas.

With three years remaining until 2020, the City is taking strong action towards reducing GHG emissions with the adoption of the Renewable City Strategy last November, committing Vancouver to derive 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources before 2050. Part of this strategy includes increasing the city’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure and requiring all new building produce zero emissions by 2030.

In addition, Council has also approved a ban on all neonicotinoids this morning. These types of pesticides make all parts of a plant toxic, thereby making non-target insects such as bumblebees vulnerable to being poisoned as well. In addition to supporting GCAP, this ban also supports the Healthy City Strategy, ensuring that Vancouverites have the right to a healthy environment and equitable access to livable environments in which they can thrive in.

Vancouver has made huge leaps and bounds towards its Greenest City targets and will continue to work with and support residents and businesses across the City to reach our goals! In the meantime, all Vancouverites can give themselves a pat on the back.

The full report can be downloaded at vancouver.ca/greenestcity.