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This Canadian city aims to be the greenest in the world

Thursday, December 26th 2019, 5:40 pm - While this city set a goal of being the greenest city in the world by 2020, it still has a few things to work on before achieving its target

Eight years ago, the-then Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson made a significant commitment to the environment -- announcing the Greenest City Action Plan. The goal was for Vancouver to become the greenest city in the world by 2020.

Since we are just days away from 2020, The Weather Network set out to see if Vancouver was still on track for reaching this goal.


The City of Vacouver's action plan highlighted 10 main goals, which included climate and renewables, green buildings, green transportation, zero waste, access to nature, clean water, local food, clean air, green economy and lighter footprint.

According to the city, it is on track or ahead of reaching seven of the 10 goals. The target that it really "excelled at," according to the City of Vancouver's climate policy manager Matt Horn, is transportation.

"We want more trips in the city by walking, cycling, and transit. To do that, we need to make our cycling networks and transit networks better so people can take those opportunities," said Horn. "We had a goal set for half of the trips in the city to be by walking, cycling, or transit by 2020 and we got there about five years early."

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Horn also said the city took big leaps when it came to meeting the goal of zero waste.

"We, to date, have cut the amount of waste going to our landfill by (more than) a quarter and have made good progress there through things like recycling and composting," he said.

However, the City of Vancouver won't be getting an A+, just yet, as there were some goals it fell short on.

"We also know there are cities ahead of us on a global basis, and so if we do want to keep pursuing that objective, we need to accelerate in some of those areas," said Horn.


One area Horn says the city fell short on was climate, noting it did reduce carbon by 12 per cent. "The population and the economy are growing but we know we have to be much faster over the next decade if we are going to be successful," Horn added.

Tying in with climate, clean air was another area of struggle. The target was to meet or exceed the most stringent air quality guidelines from Metro Vancouver and the World Health Organization. But, with 2017 and 2018 having intense wildfire seasons, Vancouver's air quality was greatly impacted.

gettyimages-629829924-170667a City of Vancouver. Photo: Getty Images.

Moving forward, Horn says the city is going to keep working towards this goal and focus on the 10 main areas. It really wants to zoom in on climate including retrofitting old buildings to make them more energy efficient.

While the city continues to strive to be the greenest city in the world, it is notifying residents they can do their part to help out, as well. Residents are encouraged to use less energy in their everyday lives. For example, residents can lower their thermostat and ensure their heating system is working efficiently. A transiton to renewable energy appliances is suggested.

Outside of their home, they can do their part by using transit, cycling or sustainable driving. For more information on to help Vancouver become the greenest city in the world, click here.

Thumbnail courtesy of Getty Images.


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