Moving cities toward a greener future is not easy or simple but cities can borrow ideas from each other.

Can cities take the lead in renewable energy?

May 12, 2015

This week, our friends at Renewable Cities will be hosting their Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum from May 13-15, 2015 at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Vancouver.

At the 3-day conference, leaders from municipalities and government, the private sector, and civil society will gather to participate in small group capacity building sessions and join the global movement for 100% renewable energy and energy efficiency in cities. There are many different efforts that have emerged recently that strive for smart, resilient, and regenerative urban environments. Renewable Cities seeks to build on this momentum in creating sustainable and livable communities that are committed to 100% renewable energy.

Provincial or national governments have the financial and policy levers necessary to drive behavioural change but the same cannot be said for municipal governments. Despite this, cities have their own distinct advantages that they can use to take action against climate change.

Michael Small, executive director of Renewable Cities at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, explains this in his recent piece for Vancouver Sun.

Some highlights from the article:

"Mayors around the world are doing more of the heavy lifting these days when it comes to collecting the trash generated by our fossil fuel burning lifestyle than most national governments."

"Cities generally have a number of advantages when it comes to taking real action on climate change."

"Vancouver city council had just passed a unanimous resolution to develop a plan to move the city to 100-per-cent renewable energy in electricity, transportation and heating and cooling... joining cities such as San Francisco, Sydney and Copenhagen which already have 100-per-cent renewable energy goals."

"This commitment to a more sustainable future has put Vancouver at the centre of a growing network of cities that are leading the charge in planning for our transition to a fossil-free future."
Read the full article here
More than 50 international experts and senior staff from over 15 different countries will be present at the conference. The best ideas about how to increase the use of clean renewable energy from cities around the world will be shared this week.