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Imagine a ban on parking so Vancouver can meet renewable energy goals

FILE - Vancouver has been receiving complaints about too many drivers taking advantage of relaxed parking enforcement during the pandemic. (NEWS 1130) (Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

SFU study warns Vancouver will need to take drastic measures to reach green goals

Academics warn Vancouver must get tough to meet renewable energy plans

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Imagine heavy restrictions or even a ban on parking in the City of Vancouver if you drive a gas or diesel car. A new report from Simon Fraser University warns the city might be forced to impose those measures if it wants to meet its ambitious renewable energy goals.

Essentially this report asks the question: how on earth is Vancouver going to meet its objective of going 100 per cent renewable by 2050? And the answer it comes up with is by bringing in some seriously radical measures which could include limited or no parking at all for gas or diesel powered cars by 2025.

The study authors point out municipal governments have no power to control what kind of cars drive on city streets, but they do have the authority to control parking rules.

“Vancouver has shown much-needed leadership in initially meshing its livability and emission reductions efforts, and now in recognizing the necessity of fuel-switching as the next stage,” says Mark Jaccard, professor at SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management. “But with greater leadership comes greater challenge. This is why our report distinguishes between what the city could do on its own and where its efforts would benefit from leadership at senior levels of government.”

Alternatively or in tandem, the city could go down the road of implementing heavy carbon pricing and other regulations.

To be clear, none of this is from the City of Vancouver, and these are only suggestions from academics about potential possibilities.

Dr. Sybil Seitzinger, the executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, feels this report paints a picture of the enormity of the challenge ahead for Vancouver.

“This is a solid and important piece of work because it examines the efficacy of climate policies and renewable energy goals that many cities around the world are seeking to implement,” she explains. “Having this type of fine-grained analysis is vital for decision-makers, as it brings clarity to the likely outcomes that different combinations of climate solution pathways can offer.”

Only 30 per cent of Vancouver’s energy is renewable now, with the bulk of that coming from BC Hydro.