Call to Climate Action

I am writing to you as someone who I know is deeply concerned about climate change.

For the last year and a half, I’ve worked on a team developing a Climate Emergency Action Plan to respond to the biggest threat of our time with urgency and a commitment to equity. The plan that was presented to Council on November 3 will accelerate Vancouver’s climate action by five-fold, and modelling shows the full collection of 19 recommended actions, along with implementation of CleanBC, will put Vancouver on track to cut emissions by 50% by 2030!

The recommended actions are geared towards addressing the greatest source of carbon pollution in Vancouver and transitioning off of fossil fuels. In Vancouver, the main sources are burning natural gas to heat water and our buildings (nearly 60% of emissions) and burning gas and diesel in our cars, trucks, and other vehicles (nearly 40% of emissions).

I invite you, if you have not had a chance already, to read the plan in full on the public website: or watch the staff presentation (here is video link with the staff presentation starting at 9:46 AM).

The Climate Emergency Action Plan is currently in front of Vancouver City Council. They will reconvene on November 17 to decide whether to adopt this plan. Over 70 speakers signed up both in support and against the plan and the Council debate will begin after they hear form the remaining speakers.

To watch the final Council decision, tune in on Nov 17, between 3 – 10pm by clicking here. While the speaker’s list has closed, people can always contact City Council at any time to share their views using this online form.

The Greenest City Action Plan inspired cities around the globe to implement their own plans. The strides we made to encourage green buildings have been adopted by the province and beyond. By adopting this plan we hope to similarly inspire other municipalities to move forward on the aggressive carbon reductions.


Doug Smith, P.Eng. | Director

Sustainability Group | Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability | City of Vancouver

Doug Smith is a structural engineer and a UBC graduate and has been with the City of Vancouver for 25 years. He is currently the Director of Sustainability for the City of Vancouver and his portfolio includes the Greenest City Action Plan, the Renewable City Strategy, the Green Operations Plan and the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Doug is also on the Board of Directors for the CityStudio Vancouver Society. Find out more about Doug Smith here