City leaders in Vancouver have vowed to make their city the greenest in the world by 2020, and now they’re backing that up with some serious money for sustainable development.
The largest city in British Columbia, Canada, has issued its first green bond, a C$85 million package that will pay for a variety of housing and renewable energy projects, according to a statement issued by the city.
“Green bonds offer an environmental and social investment tool that will support the City’s efforts to build sustainable infrastructure for many generations to come,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a press release.
Proceeds from the sale of the bonds — paying 3.1% and maturing in 2028 — will fund capital projects that are focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, pollution prevention and control, and wastewater management. The projects will be approved by the City Council. Three projects that have already been approved include the renovation of a fire station to make it a net-zero building, the construction of more than 200 affordable housing units in the Downtown Eastside area, and the continued operation of a neighborhood utility that offers 100% renewable energy.
The backdrop for the sale is a strategy statement that sets two important goals to reach by 2050: sourcing electricity from only renewable energy sources, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below 2007 levels.
“The consequences of inaction to reduce fossil fuel use, such as climate change, poor air quality and detrimental health impacts, can be avoided through the adoption of renewable energy,” the statement says.
Vancouver has a population of about 630,000 and prides itself on its livability, economic diversity, and technical and digital know-how.