City of Vancouver announces intention to be fossil fuel-free by 2050

Oct 27 2017, 7:24 pm

In what he calls a goal “that is good for the environment and economy, and also people’s pocketbooks,” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the City is on track to a fossil fuel-free future.

“We’ve got a plan to boost clean renewable energy and active transportation,” he said. “I look forward to working with other regional partners like TransLink to make a fossil fuel-free future in Vancouver a reality.”

In a staff report, the municipal government said it is on track to being 100% renewably powered by 2050 and meeting the goal of reducing carbon pollution by 80% from 2007 levels.

This week’s announcement follows a move by the city in 2015,  when Council unanimously approved the goal for Vancouver to be 100% renewably powered by 2050, or sooner, under the Greenest City Action Plan.

The latest report includes analysis from the City, as well as BC Hydro, showing that through the City’s plan to transition off fossil fuels, residents could save up to $583 per year by 2030 and $994 per year by 2050 per household.

The report comes as 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.

Over the next decade, the City said it will focus on ensuring homes and offices are built to require little energy to heat and cool them, and improve 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.

Transport organizations approve of fossil fuel-free plan

In response to this week’s announcement, the CEO of TransLink said the public transit authority “commends” the decision.

“With a fleet of more than 1,500 buses region-wide, we also recognize the importance of our role in reducing emissions,” said company CEO Kevin Desmond.

“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.”

Tour operator WESTCOAST Sightseeing also expressed their approval of the City’s initiative.

“We applaud the City of Vancouver for signing the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Pledge and for its leadership in reducing emissions,” said Robert Safrata, CEO of WESTCOAST.

“We believe in shared public and private-sector responsibility for making a positive shift to sustainable transportation for residents and visitors to Vancouver.”

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