VANCOUVER, B.C. – At today’s meeting, Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to support Green Councillor Adriane Carr’s amended motion to increase the supply of climate-smart renewable energy in Vancouver.
“Increasing our local supply of renewable energy is essential to combating the accelerating climate crisis”, said Carr.
“During my time on Council, Vancouver has been great at setting bold GHG reduction targets – currently 50% reduction in GHGs by 2030 and net zero carbon by 2050 – but hasn’t come close to meeting them. My motion aims to change that.”
“Consensus in the scientific community is clear: the only way to avert catastrophic climate change is to rapidly phase out burning fossil fuels and ramp up the production and use of renewable energy. Every political jurisdiction needs to take action. That means rapidly ramping up local production of renewables here in Vancouver.”
Carr’s motion instructs staff to evaluate the potential of different types of renewable energy to reduce Vancouver’s GHGs, increase the reliability of energy supply, particularly in light of BC Hydro’s forecast that it won’t have sufficient supply of electricity to meet demand past 2030, and reduce consumers’ energy costs. The report back to Council is due in Q4 2023.
“Increasing the supply of renewable energy in Vancouver will reduce energy costs for residents and taxpayers, create good-paying local jobs, and improve our city’s energy security, leaving us less vulnerable to climate change.”
“From solar, wind and tidal to renewable district energy systems, there are plenty of sustainable energy options in Vancouver. The technology is evolving rapidly and getting more affordable by the day.”
“I am inspired by seeing other jurisdictions charging ahead,” said Carr. “Solar photovoltaic systems are now required on all new buildings in Berlin. France is requiring all large parking lots to be covered by solar panels. San Francisco, Denver, and Washing, DC are just a few of the US cities mandating solar and green (“living”) roofs.”
“I was also inspired by the public speakers to my motion, who all urged Vancouver to move quickly on implementing my motion, and prompted my amendment to ensure new regulations incorporate both solar and green roofs.”
“I amended my original motion to incorporate some changes suggested by Clr. Klassen.The unanimous Council vote in support shows that this Council has the political will to support bolder climate action in our city,” concluded Carr.
Resolution Clauses as Amended:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Vancouver City Council direct staff to:
a. Consult with appropriate experts and agencies including BC Hydro regarding how best to expedite increasing the supply of renewable energy in Vancouver.
b. Encourage Metro Vancouver Zero Emissions Innovation Centre (ZEIC) to consider convening top thinkers on urban renewable energy production in the Metro Vancouver region through the ZEBx (Zero Emission Building Exchange) or B2E (Building to Electrification) coalition to help inform City staff and elected officials about the potential to increase renewable energy production in Vancouver and the region.
c. Evaluate, in general, the potential of renewable energy, including solar photovoltaic systems, solar hot water systems, wind and renewable district energy systems, to reduce Vancouver city’s GHGs, increase reliability of energy supply and reduce consumers’ energy costs.
d. Report back to Council by Q4 2023 with results of the above information gathering, and present recommendations on the options, costs and benefits for a City of Vancouver renewable energy initiative, including changes that would be needed in the Vancouver Building By-law and other by-laws, policies and codes to enable expanding renewable energy production including in combination with green roofs where appropriate in Vancouver and how a City of Vancouver renewable energy initiative would best be incorporated into current City efforts to streamline regulations for the expedited delivery of housing.
AND FURTHER THAT Council direct the Mayor to, on behalf of City Council, write to the appropriate B.C. government Ministers to expedite implementing the renewable energy-related motions tabled by the City of Vancouver and passed unanimously or near-unanimously at the 2022 UBCM convention, specifically to expand training programs for workers to install solar panels and solar hot water systems, offer consumer rebates on solar PVC (photovoltaic) panels and solar hot water systems, and require that B.C. Hydro increase feed-in tariffs to incentivize more investment in renewable energy production.