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Vancouver’s climate plan outlines four ‘game changer’ actions - Cities Today

Vancouver City Council has approved a five-year Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) which charts a path to reducing carbon emissions 50 percent by 2030.

Of 19 defined actions, four ‘game changers’ have been identified to “significantly move the dial” on reducing carbon pollution from the city’s largest sources – buildings and transportation.


Designed to work in conjunction with other measures, they are:

  • Create a model to implement transport pricing in the Metro Core by 2025 to reduce congestion, reallocate road space to more sustainable modes and increase walking, cycling, micro mobility and transit use

  • Expand residential on-street parking programs city-wide, with a carbon surcharge on new, higher priced gas and diesel vehicles

  • Set carbon pollution limits for existing buildings to transition older buildings from fossil fuels by improving energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy

  • Set requirements for low carbon construction materials and practices in new buildings

Currently, 54 percent of the city’s carbon emissions come from burning natural gas used to heat space and water in buildings, and 39 percent come from burning gasoline and diesel in vehicles.


Congestion charge

Lon LaClaire, General Manager of Engineering Services, City of Vancouver, said: “With transportation as the second-biggest source of carbon pollution, we have to prioritize sustainable ways of getting around. Introducing a user-pay model for roads promotes fairness and will allow us to invest those funds in more sustainable travel options. This approach is working to move more people and reduce congestion in major cities around the world and, over the next few years, we will work with our residents and stakeholders to find the right fit to deliver similar benefits for Vancouver.”


A report to the council highlighted the use of congestion charging schemes in cities such as London, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Milan and Singapore, stating: “The realization of robust benefits in all these locations consistently shifted initial skepticism into approval and acceptance among the greater community.”


Vancouver will also develop a city-wide transportation demand management action plan, including the promotion of remote and flexible work.

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