Metro Vancouver's Role

Metro Vancouver has three broad roles in the region: deliver core services, plan for the future, and act as a regional forum. Through each of these roles, Metro Vancouver has responsibilities related to climate change.

Changes in weather patterns and rising sea level will require investments to prepare and adapt core regional services and infrastructure, including drinking water supply, liquid waste management, air quality management, and regional parks. Through its core services, Metro Vancouver also has opportunities to generate and use renewable energy from its facilities.

Metro Vancouver is considering climate change when it plans for the future of our region. Included in this planning role is the management and regulation of air contaminants, including greenhouse gas emissions. With its members, Metro Vancouver helps to plan for compact, complete communities that are foundational to enabling low carbon solutions. Metro Vancouver is also evaluating how climate change will affect future development and growth in the region.

Metro Vancouver has approval authority over key funding sources in the Federal Gas Tax and the Sustainability Innovation Funds, which can enable greenhouse gas and climate adaptation projects in corporate operations and the region.

In its role as a regional forum, Metro Vancouver builds and facilitates collaborative processes which engage the public and build partnerships to address significant regional issues like climate change. Metro Vancouver will continue to engage its members and other partners to develop the Climate 2050 Roadmaps and implement joint climate action projects.

Authority and Mandate

Metro Vancouver’s authority and mandate to address climate change flows from several areas of Provincial legislation and policy. The Green Communities Act (Bill 27) requires regional growth strategies to include targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and proposed policies and actions for achieving those targets. Under the Environmental Management Act, Metro Vancouver has the delegated authority to provide the service of air pollution control and air quality management and may, by bylaw, prohibit, regulate and otherwise control and prevent the discharge of air contaminants, including greenhouse gas emissions. Also under the Environmental Management Act, Waste Management Plans are regulatory instruments that can address strategic and operational requirements that are specific to a local government’s solid waste and liquid waste services such as responding to climate impacts and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2007, Metro Vancouver signed the BC Climate Action Charter, making the voluntary commitment to take actions to pursue carbon neutrality in its corporate operations and reduce community-wide emissions by creating more complete, compact and energy efficient rural and urban communities.

Metro Vancouver's Goals

Metro Vancouver’s climate action goals are expressed in the Climate 2050 Strategic Framework. They include preparing our communities for changes we know will occur, and accelerating the pace at which we reduce emissions in this region:

  • Ensure our infrastructure, ecosystems, and communities are resilient to the impacts of climate change.
  • Pursue a carbon neutral region by 2050, with an interim target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030.

The greenhouse gas emissions targets identified above are consistent with the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. The Climate 2050 goals are also closely aligned with the Province of British Columbia, Canadian federal targets, international commitments as agreed to in the Paris Agreement, and the emissions goals of many of Metro Vancouver’s member jurisdictions.