Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Metro Vancouver’s Clean Air Plan dependent on feds and province

Logan Creek in Langley City

The Metro Vancouver Regional District is in the final stages of adopting its updated 10-year air quality management plan called the “Clean Air Plan.” The actions contained in the plan, if implemented, will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2 million tonnes and provide $1.6 billion in health benefits.

The following are the “big move” actions that the region must take to reduce GHG emissions and realize the health benefits.


  • Enhance and improve regional transit
  • Use pricing to reduce driving and emissions - Province
  • Expand active transportation networks
  • Accelerate sales targets for new electric passenger vehicles - Province and Federal
  • Develop regional emission requirements for passenger vehicles - Province
  • Make electric vehicles more affordable - Province and Federal
  • Regulate existing medium and heavy trucks - Province
  • Require zero-emission sales targets for new medium and heavy trucks - Province
  • Accelerate emission reductions from marine vessels - Province and Federal


  • Greenhouse gas performance requirements for existing large buildings
  • Greenhouse gas performance requirements for existing homes and townhomes
  • New buildings are highly efficient and electric - Province
  • Require greenhouse gas reductions during renovations - Province
  • Building electrification mandate for BC Hydro - Province
  • Expand incentives for low carbon upgrades - Province and Federal
  • Online decision support tools for low carbon upgrades in buildings - Province
  • Implement requirements for higher emitting wood-burning appliances
  • Emission requirements for district energy systems
  • Incorporate embodied emissions into the BC Building Code - Province


  • More stringent greenhouse gas requirements for large industrial emitters - Province
  • Integrate greenhouse gas requirements into emission regulations and permits
  • Implement renewable gas content requirements - Province
  • Tighten emission regulation for non-road diesel engines
  • Regional low carbon procurement


  • Reduce emissions from greenhouses - Province
  • Reduce open-air burning


  • Develop a long-term approach to equity in air quality and greenhouse gas management
  • Strengthen relationships with First Nations on air quality issues

I noted if federal or provincial government action will be required to implement an action in the above list. Around half of the “big move” actions will need the support of other orders of government to be successful.

There are many actions that the regional district, member municipalities and treaty First Nations can take to reduce GHG emissions and reduce air contaminants. However, this plan will only be successful with the full support of both the provincial and federal governments.

One of the roles of this region will be to lobby the provincial and federal governments to update legislation, regulations, and policies to make this plan successful.

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