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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver officials developing new green building policy

Staff hopes to implement by the end of year

By William Seekamp, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 27, 2024, 5:38pm

Vancouver officials want to curb greenhouse gas emissions from some of the biggest polluters in the city: buildings.

City staff are working to develop and implement a new green building policy by the end of 2024, a priority outlined in the city’s climate action framework for achieving carbon neutrality by 2040.

City staff laid out the timeline and the broad strokes at a city council workshop Monday. The council will address specifics at a May 20 workshop.

“We’re still early in the research process and bringing that research together,” said Rebecca Small, senior policy analyst.

Before the May 20 meeting, city staff will set up a technical advisory group, plan roundtables and workshops and continue public outreach.

“This policy is likely to have significant impact across a wide range of stakeholders, so the engagement piece is really critical,” Vancouver Economic Development Director Patrick Quinton said.

Buildings contribute 28 percent of Vancouver’s total emissions, according to a city memo, citing a 2019 greenhouse gas inventory.

Councilor Kim Harless encouraged city staff to keep the “tight timeline.”

“I hope this policy looks well beyond just hitting some basics, but really thinking and imagining how could buildings be a carbon sink; how could they be a solution to the problem,” Harless said.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

Columbian staff writer