Media Releases



Metro Vancouver’s air quality has steadily improved over the last decade, thanks to progressive regulations, proactive management plans, more stringent air quality objectives, and education and outreach programs. These actions, as outlined in the 10th anniversary edition of Caring for the Air, have led to lower levels of most air contaminants and Metro Vancouver’s achievement of carbon neutrality as an organization. “I am heartened by the many improvements that have been made in the region’s air quality over the past 10 years, even as Metro Vancouver has continued to grow and new threats to air quality have emerged, such as worsening wildfire seasons and climate change impacts,” said Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors. Metro Vancouver's annual state-of-the-air report, Caring for the Air 2021, summarizes key trends and describes recent and upcoming actions to further improve air quality and address climate change in the region. Highlights include a look at how the region’s air quality benefited from lower levels of transportation-related emissions in 2020 due to there being fewer vehicles on the road during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the region experienced high levels of fine particulate matter when smoke from wildfires along the west coast of the United States blanketed Metro Vancouver and led to 11 days of air quality advisories in September. Metro Vancouver has experienced poor air quality from wildfire smoke in four of the last six years, and climate projections for the region warn of warmer, drier and longer summers, which could lead to more intense and more frequent wildfire smoke impacts. Caring for the Air 2021 features a look back at the accomplishments of the past decade, plus the key challenges in the years ahead, including: Metro Vancouver’s roadmap to becoming a carbon neutral region How Metro Vancouver achieved and plans to maintain corporate carbon neutrality The results of a pilot program aimed at making strata buildings more energy efficientHow electric heat pumps can efficiently heat and cool residential buildings How the Air Quality Health Index is a useful guide for protecting residents’ health Metro Vancouver’s work to upgrade and expand its comprehensive air quality monitoring network Ways Metro Vancouver is reducing wood smoke from residential burning Looking ahead, Metro Vancouver is in the midst of gathering public input on its draft Clean Air Plan, an update to the Integrated Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Management Plan, which was approved in 2011.  "Air quality and climate change are inextricably linked, and the Clean Air Plan includes actions to significantly reduce air contaminant emissions over the next decade," said Adriane Carr, Chair of Metro Vancouver's Climate Action Committee. "These actions also support Climate 2050, Metro Vancouver's regional climate action strategy, and include adaptation measures as well as bold steps to accelerate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050."Residents interested in helping Metro Vancouver shape further improvements in air quality in the region over the next 10 years are invited to provide input to the draft Clean Air Plan until June 15.Watch a video about the 10th anniversary edition of Caring for the Air here: