When I first interviewed Rob Bernhardt in 2014, you could count the number of British Columbia’s passive houses on your fingers. The Berhardts built the first certified passive house in the Victoria region. Rob went on to become the CEO of Passive House Canada. I recently interviewed him again, during a quick peek at Victoria’s passive houses.
The future of Vancouver’s new Green Building Rezoning Policy is already uncertain. As of this morning, there is an emissions cap on all new construction and buildings applying for rezoning. There are several ways developers “can meet the energy efficiency and emissions targets (50 per cent decrease in GHGs).” They can use “better insulation, thicker windows, and better design, as well as opting for renewable energy.” However the largest cause of the city’s emissions is natural gas and so Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals attack Vancouver’s attempt to limit emissions.
Many aspects of the Conference Board of Canada’s study of the nation’s transportation emissions are refreshing. The authors correctly identified transportation as the source of half of Canada’s emissions increases since 1990 and an area where similar cuts can be made.1 They remind enthusiasts on the West Coast that, east of the Rockies, walking and cycling are not as feasible during the winter.2 This study has much to offer, but A LONG HARD ROAD does not see the ECV potential.
Allison Robins, James Knowles, and Len Coad. Abstract & Highlights: A Long, Hard Road: Reducing GHG Emissions in Canada’s Road Transportation Sector by 2050. Ottawa: the Conference Board of Canada, 2015, p i ↩
In 2009, Gregor Robertson was elected mayor of Vancouver after campaigning to make it the greenest city in the World. Two years later, the Economistranked Vancouver #2 in North America. In 2013, Vancouver was chosen as the planet’s first Global Earth Hour Capital. The judges were impressed by the city’s overall holistic approach to climate action. According to the city’s sustainability director, Amanda Pitre-Hayes, Vancouver has made significant progress.