VEC launches Zero Emissions Economic Transition Action Plan

  • June 6, 2022

Economic-development-led plan pledges support for businesses and workers through transition to a net-zero economy

June 6, 2022 – (Vancouver, BC) – The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) today announces the Zero Emissions Economic Transition Action Plan (ZEETAP), a uniquely economic-development-led initiative that aims to help workers and businesses navigate the transition to a net-zero economy and market context. The actions outlined in the three-year plan kick off a suite of initiatives to help Vancouver businesses and workers access, understand, navigate, purchase and otherwise adopt climate change solutions.

“Climate change is the defining economic issue of the century. There are enormous challenges, yes, but there are also opportunities for us to rewrite the way we conduct business in service of a more equitable, resilient economy,” says Eleena Marley, CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission. “It is imperative to help businesses and workers not just navigate but risk-proof and flourish in this new operating environment. ZEETAP is our commitment to help businesses every step of the way as they look to take on climate action.”

ZEETAP was designed around four economic goals:

  1. Maximizing the economic opportunities of climate action
  2. Minimizing the challenges and costs of taking climate action
  3. Accelerating voluntary action to address climate change
  4. Championing equity and justice in all aspects of climate action and economic development

The various actions and metrics outlined in the plan range from creating guides to help industry understand, measure and reduce their carbon footprints, to building a regional Just Transition Council, and supporting workers looking to retrain and upskill.

“ZEETAP acknowledges and centres the need for equity and justice to guide our economic transition,” Stephen von Sychowski, President, Vancouver & District Labour Council. “This means putting working people, especially those most directly impacted, at the forefront of decision making. Together, we must find solutions which safeguard the health, jobs, and economic wellbeing of workers, while meeting our climate objectives and creating new economic opportunities.”

Over the past 10 years, Vancouver has experienced strong growth in its green economy, with green jobs growing by 87 percent and a quadruple increase to the number of businesses “greening” their operations. By focusing on the actions and opportunities identified in ZEETAP, businesses and workers can better anticipate transitional challenges and prepare accordingly.

“ZEETAP helps businesses because it explicitly recognizes and accounts for the connection between climate action and economic opportunity; developing this report has been an essential accelerant for the net zero transition work that we must tackle regionally and globally,” says Shayna Rector Bleeker, 7Gen’s VP of strategic partnerships. “7Gen sees the challenges and opportunities as we mobilize the money and knowhow to realize zero emissions commercial transportation. By getting zero emission trucks on the road, we aim to accelerate the deployment of clean technology, make climate solutions like this more affordable, and at the same time demonstrate the art of the possible in order to support more ambitious regulation in places where transition is possible. Collaborative efforts like ZEETAP are going some way to address barriers. Together this climate action helps us build a more resilient economy and region.”

ZEETAP was developed through extensive collaboration with many players throughout Metro Vancouver, including business groups, labour organizations, government, and leading community members.

VEC invites all who would like to invest funding, expertise, time, and any other modes of support to get in touch with the ZEETAP project team to discuss ways of working together to help risk-proof the economy, communities and lives that will be affected by climate change.

Read full Zero Emissions Economic Transition Action Plan today.



About the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC)

VEC’s purpose is to build a prosperous, inclusive, zero-carbon and resilient local economy, competitively positioned in the global market. VEC serves one of the world’s fastest-growing, diversified and low-carbon economies. Our team works to strengthen Vancouver’s economic future by providing programming, supporting local companies, advising business leaders and policymakers, monitoring the region’s economic health, and conducting and publishing leading-edge industry research. 

VEC respectfully acknowledges that it is located and operates on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ / sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. 

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