City Outlines Path to Being Fossil Fuel Free

October 26, 2017 (Vancouver, BC) Vancouver is on track to being 100% renewably powered by 2050 and meeting the goal of reducing carbon pollution by 80% from 2007 levels, a city staff report says. The report, to be presented to Council Tuesday, includes new analysis from the City and BC Hydro (conducted by Navius Research)  showing that through the City’s plan to transition off fossil fuels, residents stand to save up to $583 per year by 2030 and $994 per year by 2050 per household.

The report comes as Mayor Gregor Robertson, along with the Mayors of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Copenhagen and others commit to the C40 Fossil Fuel Free Streets Declaration, by which the City commits to supporting regional partners to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025 and ensure that a major area of Vancouver is zero emission by 2030.

“Vancouver is going fossil fuel free – a goal that is good for the environment and economy, and also people’s pocketbooks,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’ve got a plan to boost clean renewable energy and active transportation, making it easier for residents to make affordable and healthy choices about how they get around and power their lifestyles. Already we’re seeing residents and local businesses reap the benefits and savings of going green, and I look forward to working with other regional partners like Translink to make a fossil fuel free future in Vancouver a reality.  

“TransLink commends the City of Vancouver in taking on this ambitious goal. With a fleet of more than 1,500 buses region-wide, we also recognize the importance of our role in reducing emissions. Our electric trolley fleet in Vancouver is one of the largest in North America and gives us a strong start on this journey to zero emissions. At the direction of the region’s mayors, we are developing a Low Carbon Fleet Strategy that that will be the blueprint for TransLink’s path forward,” says Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink.

Over the next ten years, the City will focus on ensuring homes and offices are built to require little energy to heat and cool them, and improve on Vancouver’s active transportation, transit and electric vehicle charging networks throughout Vancouver. Through these actions and more, the City aims to reduce carbon pollution 50%, and derive 55% of the total energy used in Vancouver from renewable sources by 2030.

“We applaud the City of Vancouver for signing the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Pledge and for its leadership in reducing emissions. We believe in shared public and private-sector responsibility for making a positive shift to sustainable transportation for residents and visitors to Vancouver", said Robert Safrata, CEO of WESTCOAST Sightseeing.

In 2015, Council unanimously approved the goal for Vancouver to be 100% renewably powered by 2050 (or sooner) under the Greenest City Action Plan, focusing specifically on reducing energy demand, increasing the use of renewable energy (like renewable natural gas), and boosting renewable energy supply. Since the Greenest City Action Plan was approved in 2007, the city has made significant progress toward its green goals:

  • 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
  • 49% increase in green and local food jobs since 2010
  • 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