Supporting Vancouver’s 100% RE Strategy

The City of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada has adopted a target to reach 100% renewable energy (RE) in its electricity, heating and cooling, and transportation sectors for the entire community by 2050. This ambitious goal will set the stage for the City’s policies and plans for the years to come and builds on Vancouver’s leadership as a major hub of innovation towards urban sustainability.

This leadership, along support from our program and a high degree of international collaboration, has culminated in the Renewable City Strategy.

This is Vancouver’s plan to reach 100% RE and represents a path forward for other cities interested in ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency targets.

Origins

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.

Renewable Cities and other stakeholders spoke in favour of the target during council proceedings and our program has supported the City of Vancouver in advancing this goal.

Renewable-Cities-Vancouver-Mayor-Robertson

Renewable Cities’ Activities

Global Learning Forum

During our Global Learning Forum, Renewable Cities held a plenary session in which Mayor Gregor Robertson and Acting City Manager Sadhu Johnston solicited advice from the conference’s 300 participants in how to best promote the adoption of renewable energy.

We also convened a workshop with key City of Vancouver staff and elected officials and international experts in urban sustainability and renewable energy to support the development of a strategy.

Dialogues: Waste, the built environment, and transportation sessions

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.

Renewable City Strategy refinement and adoption

In the fall of 2015, we solicited input from international experts on the City’s draft Renewable City Strategy and spoke in favour of its adoption at Vancouver City Council hearings in November, 2015.

Our team also wrote 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), and At the Paris climate talks, cities are a PM’s best friend (Vancouver Observer)

Next steps for Renewable Cities

We will continue to work with the City of Vancouver and local and international stakeholders in the implementation of the 100% RE strategy.

This includes working with regional, provincial, and federal governments and collaborating with other international cities, governments, utilities, and stakeholders who are interested in adopting ambitious renewable energy targets.

Vancouver’s Renewable City Strategy is available at: www.vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/renewable-city

Header image courtesy of Flickr user ross_strachan

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