You’ve probably never even heard of two of Canada’s more effective provincial and city-scale climate policies—and that’s probably not a bad thing.
The BC Energy Step Code and the City of Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan are both building regulations introduced within the past two years or so by the Province of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver, respectively.
Not that anybody even raised an eyebrow. As conservative trolls drown the internet with disinformation on carbon pricing and cynical politicians force stupid and inaccurate stickers onto Ontario gas pumps, these regulations have been quietly working away in the background out west, driving down emissions in the communities that have been putting them to work.
Moreover, according to one recent report, they’re seeding the ground for a low-carbon economic bonanza.
If it’s not obvious by now, I’m a fan of these regulations. I’ve been writing about and advocating for climate and clean energy policies for close to a decade. I’ve produced dozens of reports on clean power and energy efficiency for Clean Energy Canada and other think tanks, renewable-energy industry associations, and others. And I believe these two policies will ultimately have as much of a positive impact on Vancouver’s—and British Columbia’s—climate leadership legacy and reputation as the much-celebrated carbon tax has had.
But before we get too excited, what is the BC Energy Step Code, anyway? And what is the Zero Emissions Building Plan? And why am I such a fanboy?