Addressing climate change is essential to Burnaby's health and well-being, so we're leading by example to reduce the carbon emissions that cause it
City takes action
Recognizing the dangers posed by climate change, Burnaby City Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019. This emergency declaration set new carbon reduction targets for the City for the next three decades:
- 45% reductions by 2030
- 75% reductions by 2040
- carbon neutrality by 2050
Burnaby is now aligned with the targets set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to keep global temperature increases to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius. These targets are also consistent with targets set at the regional, provincial and national levels.
To ensure Burnaby will meet these targets, we've developed a Climate Action Framework. Read the 2021-22 Burnaby Climate Action Plan Progress Report.
If commitments already made by Burnaby and provincial, federal and municipal governments in Canada by 2020 remain and no further actions are taken, Burnaby’s carbon emissions would be expected to increase over time, as shown on the chart below.
From the addition of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations citywide, to the move toward electrification of City buildings and vehicles, to the creation of walkable urban villages–dozens of initiatives are underway to make Burnaby carbon neutral by 2050. Along with actions taken by individuals, private industry and other levels of government, these actions will limit or stop climate change and its negative social, environmental and economic impacts.
To reach the 2050 target, actions required include:
- constructing net-zero new buildings
- retrofitting older buildings
- increasing mobility choices
- shifting to electric vehicles
But meeting our targets is not enough. We need others–including industry, and marine and air transport companies–to also act to reduce emissions. And we'll support their transitions toward carbon neutrality.
Climate action framework
This is Climate Action, Burnaby's climate action framework provides a roadmap for a cleaner future and must be supported over the long term by:
- The City's strong and ambitious carbon pollution reduction targets, aligned with regional targets, that commit the City to an energy transition by or before 2050.
- Easy to implement Quick Starts, that will be updated as actions are completed and new actions identified.
- Sustained resourcing for climate action, including in operating and capital budgets.
- Support from the community–both residents and businesses.
- Strong climate commitments, action and resourcing from senior governments.
Seven Big Moves and associated Quick Start Actions will accelerate Burnaby's climate action so the City's climate emergency targets can be met.
These Quick Starts will be updated and reviewed, and new ones added to ensure Burnaby’s transition to a carbon neutral community is ongoing and adaptive. The Quick Starts commit to immediate implementation of policy, programs and infrastructure for this energy transition.
Capacity and resilience
News and updates
Existing buildings account for 39% of Burnaby’s GHG emissions—and represent one of the biggest opportunities for emission reductions.
Effective May 1, all new building permit applications for Part 9 residential buildings must meet Step 3 of the Energy Step Code.
Burnaby City Council has directed staff to continue work to develop a District Energy Utility that, once established, would take clean thermal energy captured from Metro Vancouver’s Waste-to-Energy facility to provide heat and hot water to Burnaby homes and businesses.
The City of Burnaby has approved a location for a new pedestrian-cyclist overpass over Highway 1, which will create a critical north-south link between key regional trail networks and destinations within Burnaby.