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Tag-Archive for ◊ Greenest City ◊

The City of Vancouver moved closer today to implementing food scraps collection for apartments and condos in Vancouver, as staff outlined at Council the strategy to comply with the Metro Vancouver ban on organic waste going to the landfill in 2015.

Vancouver’s Green Bin program already serves more than 100,000 single family and duplex homes, as well as 1,800 multi-unit buildings in the city that were already receiving City garbage pick-up. In the first full year of Green bin collection, the amount of garbage collected dropped by 40% as food waste was diverted to composting.

“Our Green Bin program is diverting food scraps from the landfill, and moving us closer to our Greenest City goals,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We increasingly hear from people who live in apartments and condos that they want to have their food scraps collected. The City is taking further steps to help make that happen, and will be working with private waste collectors to expand service to all buildings in advance of the 2015 ban.”

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Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP) aims to make Vancouver the Greenest City in the world by 2020 and to secure Vancouver’s international reputation as a mecca of green enterprise.

A new report on Vancouver’s green economy by the Vancouver Economic Commission, finds that there has been a 19 percent increase in the number of green and local food jobs in the City of Vancouver since 2010, growing from 16,700 to 20,000 over a three-year period. This progress is largely due to the extraordinary growth in the local food, green building, and clean tech sectors, which is driven by market demand and public policy at the City of Vancouver. In order to carry on this momentum, the report calls for a concerted effort to create more policy and programs that inspire innovative practices.

“The rapid growth in Vancouver’s green economy demonstrates how our Greenest City Action Plan is creating new jobs in our city, and building a diverse, more innovative economy,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Board Chairman of the VEC. “Vancouver businesses are leading the way in making investments that make sense environmentally and for their bottom line. The City is proud to do what we can to enable their work, whether it’s through our green building policies, local food strategy or efforts to reduce waste, all of which are creating good-paying green jobs in Vancouver.”

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The City of Vancouver filed a motion yesterday with the National Energy Board (NEB) to ensure that the economic impacts of climate change are included in the review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. This move reflects the material risk climate change poses to economic stability as even global insurance companies have begun to factor climate change into their economic risk assessments.

Included in the City’s motion is an affidavit from the City’s Chief Risk Officer. The affidavit provides evidence on how the insurance industry evaluates the exposure of businesses to climate change risks and how these costs are increasingly factored in to insurance rates.

“It makes no sense for the NEB to ignore the economic impacts of climate change, while insurance companies around the world are adjusting their business models because of it,” said Mayor Robertson. “Climate change has significant economic costs that cannot be swept aside when evaluating a pipeline project of this magnitude.

“An analysis of the impacts of Kinder Morgan’s proposal for a seven-fold increase in oil tankers in our waters must take into account the full economic impacts of climate change.”

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Mayor Gregor Robertson says that with last week’s decision by the National Energy Board (NEB) to reject a request for oral public hearings and cross examination on Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion, Vancouver should hold its own meetings to give residents an opportunity to express their concerns.

“The National Energy Board continues to restrict and reduce public input on Kinder Morgan’s proposal for a seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic through Vancouver’s local waters, which is undermining public trust in the process,” said the Mayor. “The approval process for Kinder Morgan has even fewer opportunities for public input than Northern Gateway.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from the residents of Vancouver that they have major concerns about this proposal. If the NEB won’t allow residents to express those concerns, then the City should provide opportunities for the public to let their voices be heard on this important issue.”

At yesterday’s Vancouver City Council meeting, a City staff update identified new gaps in Kinder Morgan’s proposal, including a “worst case” oil spill scenario that assumes calm, warm water and long daylight hours. The 15,000 page proposal also fails to include plans or impact assessments for fires, spills or explosions impacting the City of Vancouver.

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A presentation by Vancouver City staff to City Council this morning shows a number of gaps and flaws in Kinder Morgan’s risk modelling, which downplay or ignore the risk to Vancouver’s economy and environment.

The public update, presented by Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnston, provided new information on Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion proposal, based on an analysis by City staff. Gaps highlighted in the update included:

  • Kinder Morgan’s “worst case” spill scenario assumes calm, warm water; long daylight hours, and the availability of all responders;
  • The assessment of an accident in English Bay only considers collisions between an anchored tanker with Fraser River traffic;
  • There are no plans or impact assessments provided for spills, fires, or explosions impacting the City of Vancouver

“Today’s report exposes alarming flaws and gaps both in Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion and the National Energy Board’s process to evaluate it,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This new information reinforces why a seven-fold expansion of oil tanker traffic through Vancouver’s local waters is not in Vancouver’s interest and poses an enormous threat to our economy and environment.”

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Five years after the launch of the Greenest City Action Team, new programs and policies are delivering benefits in neighbourhoods across the city, says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“Vancouver residents have really stepped up and helped the city become healthier, stronger, and greener,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “No matter what street you walk down in Vancouver, you see the results of our Greenest City Action Plan. We have weekly food scraps collection in place. We’ve supported the big growth of car sharing with Modo and car2go. New buildings are built to the greenest building code in North America, saving residents money on energy and water costs.

“These are important changes that make our city a better place to live, creating sustainable jobs in Vancouver’s growing economy while protecting our environment. Vancouver can lead the world and set the green standard for cities around the globe. We should aim to be the best.”

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