The City of Vancouver is considering delaying the roll-out of a key pillar of its Climate Emergency Action Plan by one year.
The proposed delay targets a requirement that builders must install zero emissions heating and hot water systems in new homes as of January 1, 2022. If passed, the proposed amendment would push this deadline back until January 1, 2023. The proposed delay has been tacked on to a package of amendments, headed to council, that aims to eliminate a backlog in building permits.
We cannot allow that to happen.
Why A One-Year Delay is Bad
A one-year delay in implementing the zero emissions homebuilding equipment rule would not only push back critical climate action by a year, losing critical momentum—it would also:
- Bump the rule’s roll-out straight into the thick of a civic election—when climate action is particularly difficult. That timing in of itself may lead to an additional delay.
- Set a dangerous precedent. Elected officials across British Columbia watch the City of Vancouver’s climate policy closely; the city sets the agenda for climate action for local governments. Opponents of climate action could point to the one-year delay in efforts to hamstring climate action in their own communities.
Further, this past year, FortisBC, the province’s natural gas utility, connected close to 13,000 new homes to its service. The previous year, it connected 10,000 homes. This regulation would help slow that growth in locked-in emissions.
Council will vote on the whole package, including the proposed delay, at its June 8, 2021 meeting.
Recommendations A, B, and C are fine, but we must urge Mayor Kennedy and the Council to vote down Recommendation D.
How You Can Help
The two things you can do right now are to email the Mayor Kennedy AND each council member and request to speak to this policy at the meeting, information on both options follows:
- Email Mayor Kennedy Stewart and the city council AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is more effective to email councillors individually than to use the group email, here are the addresses:
[email protected] <— CRITICAL
For suggested language, see below.
- Request to speak to the June 8 Council meeting (all meetings are online) to address this issue. NOTE: Be sure to select OPPOSE on the form at the above link, as shown:
Suggested Letter to Mayor and Council / Messaging Language
Dear Mayor Stewart:
Dear Councillor _____:
RE: Item P1. Internal Development Application and Permitting Modernization Task Force – First Bi-Monthly Update, June 8 Council Meeting
The above package of regulatory changes includes Recommendation D, which proposes a one-year delay in implementing the city’s Climate Emergency Action Plan requirement that new homes be built with zero emissions heating and hot water requirements.
I am as a [briefly identify yourself or the organization you represent] I am writing to ask you to approve recommendation A, B, and C in the report, which will help reduce building permit delays, and vote down recommendation D.
[State your reason or reasons in your own words]
Please do not delay the city’s global leadership on climate action.