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Vancouver on course to meet or exceed Kyoto targets

Posted in Models by Daria on December 22nd, 2009

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Image: vicfan via flickr CC

Vancouver, British Columbia, has the lowest per capita greenhouse gas emissions of any major city in North America and is on target to meet or exceed Kyoto Agreement targets, Mayor Gregor Robertson said. The announcement came December 10, 2009, as the Mayor prepared to leave for the Climate Summit for Mayors in Copenhagen, Denmark. New statistics show the development of energy efficient buildings, increased use of public transit, walking and cycling as well as innovative projects like creating heat and electricity from methane gas captured from the City’s landfill have all contributed to greenhouse gas (GHG) levels last seen in 1990.

“Vancouver continues to show leadership in Canada and North America on greenhouse gas reductions,” the Mayor said. “By making smart decisions for our future, whether it’s the many energy efficient features of the Olympic Village project, our approach to land-use planning, or the city’s transportation options, we are going to meet our Kyoto targets and in the process set the standard for major North American cities.”

Vancouver GHG emissions have been reduced by 11 per cent from their peak in 2000 to 2.7 million tonnes per year. The city is on track to meet Kyoto targets for 2012 of 2.5 million tonnes. Vancouver’s drop in GHG levels is concurrent with a 27 per cent population increase since 1990 and an 18 per cent growth in employment since 1991.

The conventional wisdom is you can’t reduce emissions with a growing population and economy.

The City of Vancouver has also reduced emissions from its own operations by 33 per cent through initiatives such as building retrofits, construction of significantly more efficient buildings and improved use of Smart cars and other fuel-efficient vehicles. The City has recently partnered with BC Hydro and Pulse Energy, a Vancouver-based company that develops real-time energy-use monitoring systems, to monitor and analyze the energy performance of a cross section of the City’s largest buildings, including the downtown library and City Hall. On Monday, the City of Vancouver also signed a memorandum of understanding with BC Hydro to develop neighbourhood renewable district energy systems, build a charging network for electric vehicles, create financing tools to enable profitable investment in building energy retrofits and undertake joint long-term planning of energy infrastructure.

“Our partnership with the City of Vancouver helps us toward our goal of meeting 50 per cent of new electricity demand through conservation by 2020,” said Bev Van Ruyven, executive vice-president, Customer Care & Conservation, BC Hydro. “I applaud the City for its leadership in sustainability and conservation and am pleased that BC Hydro’s Power Smart programs are playing a key role in helping the City progress towards its green goals.” “Pulse Energy is pleased to be working with the City of Vancouver and BC Hydro to bring intelligent energy management to buildings in Vancouver,” said David Helliwell, Pulse Energy co-founder. “Vancouver is establishing a leadership position as a Green Capital by working with cleantech companies like Pulse Energy. The City of Vancouver will benefit from substantial energy savings through Pulse Energy’s ability to identify energy wasting anomalies and reduce energy use by 10 to 20 per cent.”

“With our goal of becoming the world’s greenest city, we need to keep pursuing GHG reductions and energy conservation throughout the city,” Mayor Robertson said. “We’re making progress, but attaining this goal will require more action and innovation. This is why we have partnered with BC Hydro and Pulse Energy to use energy management software and find ways to gain efficiencies in our largest buildings. Working with these partners will help move Vancouver closer to our goal.”

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