Monday, February 6, 2023
Feb. 6, 2023

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Questioning Vancouver’s ‘leading edge’ promise

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
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Vancouver city officials have described its Climate Action Framework as comprehensive and intentionally curated, yet some residents have expressed skepticism over its potential consequences or what it may lack.

Among scores of ideas, the framework proposes easing pollution by banning or limiting the use of gas-powered, two-cycle engine lawn equipment, such as leaf blowers or mowers.

Public engagement was mixed, with those opposing it arguing the change could harm small landscaping businesses that depend on these tools. Some added it contradicted the city’s mission to highlight equity in climate action.

Previous city council testimonies raised concerns that recent tax increases, some of which would partially contribute toward climate action implementation, would work against Vancouver’s goals by driving people away from living or owing a business in Vancouver.

Others were dubious of the expenses required to implement actions within the framework, suggesting Vancouver’s economic conditions are already fragile and can’t withstand transitions to sustainable technologies.

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Questioning Vancouver’s ‘leading edge’ promise
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While the city’s plan entails comprehensive strategies to mitigate emissions and decarbonize its transportation and building sectors, Heather Tischbein of Salmon Creek said she is disappointed in the little to no attention addressing food security and nature-based solutions, such as expanding carbon sequestration through organic agriculture.

“It stuck out to me that we weren’t talking about food insecurity in our climate action plan,” said Tischbein, who was also a League of United Latin American Citizens representative for the city’s stakeholder meetings. “(We need to) bring good food to people so they can bring forward their best selves.”

The Vancouver City Council on Monday will vote whether to approve or slash the final Climate Action Framework following a public testimony. To learn more and sign up to testify, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/cmo/page/climate-action.

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