As far as I know, this didn’t get reported in the MSM. (Sean Pander passed it along.)
Last night Vancouver City Council passed a motion establishing a target of carbon-neutrality for all new construction in the city of Vancouver by 2030. This is a bold move and will be extremely important in shaping the next stage of the Green Building Strategy, Ecodensity, our Climate 2030 Plan, and the development of our own civic facilities.
Other aspects of the motion include targets to reduce community-wide GHG’s 30% by 2020 (the year of perfect vision) and 80% by 2050. These targets further strengthen the need for improved transit and active transportation infrastructure, programs, and policies.
In addition, these targets put Vancouver in line with what was adopted by the European union earlier this year and are consistent with the targets adopted two days ago by the US Conference of Mayors. The key now is to distinguish ourselves by delivering results.
Possibly, because there have been a lot of these kinds of initiatives recently, the significance of them has been discounted. And indeed, if they’re not acted on, they should be discounted. But I believe action will be forthcoming, and it will come because of a force beyond words, beyond deniability.
Nature, of course.
As the climate actually changes, as the consequences are personally felt, the demand for a serious response will steadily escalate. And the reverse will be true. If there is no change of significance in the climate, the deniers and doubters will prevail.
What has happened in the last half year to our natural environment has been sufficient for our leaders in the public and private sector to shift their bets. And as the bureaucracies beneath them increasingly understand the seriousness of their commitments, change will accelerate.
Sadly, it takes crisis and catastrophe to motivate this change, providing grim satisfaction to those who believe it necessary. It’s a strange kind of hope: for natural disasters great enough to force the rate of change but early enough to avert the worst of consequences.