VANCOUVER, B.C. – City Council voted unanimously today to approve Green Councillor Adriane Carr’s motion directing staff to align Vancouver’s 2023-2026 capital plan with the city’s Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP).
“I’m very happy,” said Carr. “The public, especially young people, are increasingly worried about climate change and its threat to our future. Scientists are urging faster government action. Vancouver city staff have informed Council that we are not on track to meeting our GHG-reduction goals, and we don’t have enough money budgeted to implement our climate emergency plans. This vote helps put us back on course.”
Carr’s motion directs staff to report back for Council’s consideration a list of potential capital projects that will enable the city to meet its stated GHG emission reduction targets of 50% below 2007 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
“To reach our goals we must concretely build them into all our budgets and long term plans,” said Carr. “We also need to track our successes and failures, so we can adjust our plans accordingly.
“Plans are useless without funding, accountability and a laser focus on making sure we meet our goals. I saw too many targets missed during my previous terms on Council. We can no longer afford to repeat those mistakes.”
A key part of Carr’s motion directs staff to establish a regular reporting schedule to Council and the public on the costs and benefits of the capital projects and their contribution to meeting the city’s climate emergency goals, including emission reductions and increased resiliency.
“In the past year alone climate change has caused some of the most deadly and destructive weather events our city has ever experienced. It broke my heart to learn that 99 fellow Vancouverites died during last summer’s heat dome. I believe that many of these deaths could have been avoided if we had many more public buildings retrofitted with heat pump air conditioners where people can take refuge.”
Carr’s motion includes equity and resilience as key objectives and asks staff to prioritize projects that achieve those goals simultaneously while also reducing GHGs.
“By retrofitting Vancouver’s civic facilities, including community centers and libraries in every neighbourhood, we can provide safe centers city-wide during extreme weather or dangerous air quality events.
“It’s pragmatic and sensible to invest now to reduce GHGs and avoid more extreme climate change. It will cost us much more to try to adapt to extreme temperatures and rising sea levels, or to repair widespread damage to our natural and built environments caused by catastrophic storms. Think of the cost to rebuild a whole town, to fix roads and highways, to clean up and restore the productive farmlands in Abbotsford, to repair Vancouver’s seawall?
“We owe it to our children and grandchildren to do everything we can to ensure they have a livable city and world.”
The City of Vancouver develops 4-year capital plans aligned with the 4-year election cycle. The public will have the opportunity to vote on the capital plan on October 15, 2022.