Wanted: B.C. roadmap to zero carbon buildings by 2050

Clean BC, the government of British Columbia’s third climate plan leaves some critical questions unanswered, particularly concerning the path to zero carbon buildings by 2050.  Tourism Vancouver photo.

California, Oregon, Washington and BC agree to lead the charge to zero carbon buildings

By Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénéclauze

Powell River Peak published this letter to the editor on January 7, 2019.

B.C.’s new climate plan outlines an ambitious suite of measures projected to cut carbon pollution from the built environment by 40 per cent by 2030. CleanBC, however, leaves some critical questions unanswered, particularly with respect to preparing our existing homes and buildings for the clean future.

By 2050, we need to eliminate carbon pollution coming from buildings. It’s estimated 70 per cent of buildings standing today will still be in use as of 2050. Between now and then, we will have only one or two can’t-miss opportunities to retrofit each of these buildings.

In the coming year, we need more clarity on the roadmap for buildings beyond 2030 and all the way to 2050 — particularly concerning electrification, fuel choices, and the role of utilities in this transformation. By pursuing these opportunities, we can reduce our carbon pollution while saving money, creating local jobs, and opening export markets for B.C.-made components and designs.

About the author: Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénéclauze is the director for buildings and urban solutions at the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading clean energy think tank. Through fact-findingconvening, and coalition building, he facilitates the development and implementation of policies to reduce carbon pollution and energy waste from homes and buildings. Tom-Pierre has provided consulting services to local governments such as the City of Vancouver, Dawson Creek (BC), the town of Faro (YK), and the Sahtú Renewable Resource Board (NWT). He sits on resource planning and demand-side management advisory bodies for BC Hydro and FortisBC, on the City of Vancouver green building advisory committee, and on B.C.’s stretch code working group. Tom-Pierre’s prior professional experience includes six years of field research on alpine glaciers in the Yukon, leading camps for youth empowerment through the arts every summer, over 10,000 lines of computational physics code, and strategic facilitation for more than 20 organizations.

Tom-Pierre holds a physics degree from L’Université Laval and a master’s in geophysics from the University of British Columbia, and is a LEED accredited professional.

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