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Vancouver mayor signs international fossil fuel-free cities pledge

Traffic outside Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station. (iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver isn’t banning fossil fuel cars, but the city’s Mayor has joined 11 of his international counterparts, including London, Paris and Seattle in a pledge to make “major areas” within their municipalities emissions-free by 2030.

Vancouver was the only Canadian municipality to sign the agreement at the C40 Cities conference in Paris on Monday, which promotes buying only electric buses starting in 2025 and for cities to “progressively abandon combustion engines” by 2030 in a joint fossil-fuel-free streets declaration.

“We want to be sure we’re one of the leading cities on this. We’re seeing other cities and countries making this commitment and we don’t want to be left behind,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in Vancouver.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wants to ban all petroleum cars in the “city of love” by 2030.

“Vancouver doesn’t have the jurisdiction to actually ban internal combustion, fossil fuel cars, but we can do a lot to keep encouraging electric vehicles and the shift of truck fleets and all the current vehicles on the road,” Robertson said.

The pledge does not define how big “major areas” would be and did not specify whether “zero emissions areas” would mean parks, walking areas or electric- or hydrogen-powered-only vehicle roads.

Other cities signing up include Auckland, Barcelona, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Milan and Quito.

Municipalities are supposed to report their progress every two years.