Green Councillors pushing for bold climate action from Province; four motions passed unanimously will go to FCM & UBCM

Published Feb 25, 2020 11:16 PM

VANCOUVER, B.C. – At today’s City Council meeting Councillor Carr introduced four motions aimed at achieving bold climate action from the province. Council unanimously passed all four motions after some procedural amendments were made. Carr’s four motions will be debated at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association (LMLGA) and the Union Of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) later this year. 

The motions ask the province to: 1) develop a B.C. Clean Kilometre Act for Ride Hailing Fleets in order to shift fleets to zero emission; 2) develop a building energy benchmarking program act within one year; 3) fully divest municipal pension plan funds from fossil fuels; 4) enable municipal governments to establish financing programs to fund energy retrofits in order to reduce emissions in buildings.

“Climate change is the most pressing challenge of our time,” said Carr. “We have a very small window left to protect our planet and prevent the most catastrophic effects for our children and grandchildren.” 

Councillor Carr is Chair of the Vancouver Policy and Strategic Priorities Committee, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Climate Action Committee, and an appointed member of the UBCM Special Committee on Climate Action struck in 2019 which is comprised of elected officials and senior staff from local government, representatives from the Province, environmental non-governmental organizations, crown corporations and academia. 

“The scientists have told us what needs to be done: we need to reduce GHGs enough to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius. We have a long way to go. These motions will help but we need to move quickly and resolutely on all policies that further climate action.”

Councillor Wiebe, who cosponsored the motion advocating for energy benchmarking, stressed the importance of having the right data available. 

“Energy benchmarking is an essential tool for improving energy efficiency,” said Wiebe. “It provides objective, reliable information on energy use which is needed to make informed decisions and effective policies.”

Councillor Fry, who sits on the UBCM Resolutions Committee and co-sponsored Carr’s motion aimed at transitioning ride hailing fleets to emission-free vehicles, expressed gratitude for Council’s support.

“I’m incredibly thankful to Council for passing all four climate action motions unanimously and for the opportunity to advance this urgent work. I look forward to collaborating with our colleagues across the province and the country to continue to combat climate change.”

This week was the last opportunity for Vancouver City Council to pass motions for debate at LMLGA and UBCM. Motions that pass at LMLGA in May will be added to a consent agenda for the UBCM conference in September.


Original Motions: 

B.C. Clean Kilometre Act for Ride Hailing Fleets

Provincial Tools for Building Energy Benchmarking

Re-Examining Municipal Pension Plan Divestment

Provincial Enabling of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing by Local Governments