Vancouver leads the way in progressive thinking about sustainability and Climate Change. We asked four experts for their insights.
Mayor, City of Vancouver
Get involved in the Ecodensity community consultations, because a lot of what is being suggested in the media is tinkering on the edges of the problem, but the real problem is the way in which we live, the sprawl model. Humans will do anything they can to avoid changing their lifestyles, trying so hard to keep the American dream and also save the environment. Maybe the American dream is the problem.
President, BC Sustainable Energy Association and author of Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change
First, set clear goals to reduce our emissions. Then plan to make all buildings twice as efficient. Make it much easier for people to walk, cycle and use transit, and generate more power from wind, solar and tidal energy. Then plan for a future with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
President, Sheltair Group and the Consensus Institute
We have to overcome three key barriers: 1) Time horizons are shrinking for decision makers, when we need to extend horizons because of the long-term impacts of decisions; 2) we lack a systems perspective – energy engineers and urban planners can’t work together because they lack a common language; and 3) there is nobody with a mandate or a budget to bring regional players together to talk about energy solutions.
Professor, Institute for Resouces, Environment and Sustainability, UBC
Fundamental problems aren’t technical and economic; in the end, they’re all institutional. They have to do with the rules that govern our behaviour: our job descriptions, our mandates, building codes, reward and incentive systems, social norms. We won’t make any progress if we keep focusing on the technical and economic aspects and don’t deal with these institutional barriers.