In 2021, extreme weather events at home and around the world brought the climate emergency to the forefront, underscoring the urgent need for transformative action that rapidly reduces emissions across all sectors of society.
Political will is starting to shift in response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) appeal for “immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions” to limit global warming to 1.5°C. We’ve seen a deeper interest in meaningful climate action, including a groundswell of renewed local government commitments.
Big policy moves have been proposed by multiple levels of government to support more complete, compact rural and urban communities across Canada. The BC Government’s Roadmap to 2030 outlines a plan to support municipalities on better land use planning that’s integrated with transportation infrastructure and natural assets. At the local level, many municipalities are exploring policies that will increase the supply of affordable, low carbon housing in walkable, compact neighbourhoods.
Over the past year, Renewable Cities advised local, provincial and federal governments on low-cost, high-impact climate policies to support the urban energy transition. Our team provided analysis and recommendations for policy innovations on multiple initiatives, including:
- CleanBC Roadmap To 2030: Compelling Destination, Big Roadside Attractions & Cautionary Signs for B.C. Communities
- Making Metro 2050 Matter: Climate, Congestion, Affordability & Prosperity
- Streamlining Rental in Low & Declining Density Neighbourhoods in Vancouver
- High Performance Outcomes for Canada’s Infrastructure
- Provincial Climate Action Targets & Tactics
- Course Correction Needed on Zero Emission Vehicle Act
In the Metro Vancouver region, Renewable Cities led the development of a new centre for climate innovations and engaged on regional climate action initiatives:
Renewable Cities, at SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, teamed up with WCS Engagement + Planning, Rhiza Capital, and Lidstone & Company to establish the Metro Vancouver Zero Emission Innovation Centre, one of seven Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) centres across Canada. This new organization will accelerate urban climate solutions across the region through research, capacity building, policy reform and innovative financial tools.
Renewable Cities ran stakeholder engagement and was a senior advisor for Metro Vancouver’s Carbon Neutral 2050 Policy Mapping project led by Licker Geospatial, hosting workshops with public sector stakeholders on strategies for meeting Metro Vancouver’s 2030 and 2050 targets.
- Vancouver Sun | New climate roadmap: Hazards and national landmarks on the path to 2030 BC’s Roadmap to 2030 is Canada’s most credible provincial pathway for meeting 2030 targets.
- Vancouver Sun | Election 2021: Liberal campaign promises may not achieve housing, transportation goals of British Columbians Alex Boston, Executive Director of Renewable Cities and Jill Atkey, CEO of the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association, call for an integrated approach to federal housing and transportation policies and funding.
- The Tyee | Ten Jobs for Getting to Work on a Zero Emissions Future Alex Boston and other climate action leaders outline the top jobs to expect in a net-zero emissions economy.
- Daily Hive | SFU gains $22-million federal endowment for new urban climate change centre SFU’s Renewable Cities program was selected by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver to establish a Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) centre for the Greater Vancouver region.