Vancouver adopted its Greenest City Action Plan in 2011 with the aim of becoming the world’s “greenest” city by 2020. This original plan laid out the aspiration to eliminate Vancouver’s on fossil fuels. In March, 2015 Vancouver City Council took the City’s ambitions a step further and unanimously adopted the goal of shifting to 100% renewable energy.
In June and July of 2015, Renewable Cities convened three full-day dialogues on waste, the built environment, and transportation that included participants from the City of Vancouver and other stakeholders. The purpose of the dialogues was to explore the challenges, opportunities, and quick starts for the City of Vancouver in reaching 100% renewable energy.
Three op-eds on the plan:
- Reaping dividends by putting human health at the forefront (Vancouver Sun)
- Plugging a City’s Energy Drain (The Tyee)
Another piece talks about the action in cities (At the Paris climate talks, cities are a PM’s best friend, Vancouver Observer). Cities are home to 80% of Canadians and they are responsible for approximately 75% of the world’s emissions. They’re very clearly an enormous part of any potential climate solution. Cities are realizing that enormous livability and economic gains can be realized through forward-thinking climate initiatives. cities like Burlington, Vermont, got fed up with fossil fuel price volatility and recently moved to hydro, wind, and biomass. Other municipalities, like Boston and Guelph, have noted the enormous amounts of energy wasted by buildings and are mandating energy benchmarking and retrofits to help measure and help fix the problem.
Hydro, wind, solar, biomass and biofuel, geothermal and new storage and smart-grid technology are finally making the goal of 100% renewable energy possible. Small cities like Reykjavik, Aspen, Colorado, and Burlington have already achieved this in one or more sector. Larger cities like Vancouver, Sydney, Munich, Frankfurt, and San Francisco have legislated it. They have each set a 100% renewable energy target and are cooperating to help each other reach that goal within their own time-frames, ranging from 2025 to 2050.
Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy is available at: www.vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/renewable-city