VEC Response to BC’s Clean Growth Strategy

The Province of British Columbia is developing a long-term ‘Clean Growth’ strategy to be released for the Fall of 2018. Earlier in the summer, the Province issued a call for input into clean transportation, clean and efficient buildings, and a clean-growth program for industry. In the Vancouver Economic Commission’s response to this call for public input, we identified specific strategies (starts on page 3) for how B.C. can achieve its clean growth objectives based on our experiences working with businesses across the region. We believe there is a strong and clear business case for purposeful climate action, and a wealth of opportunities available through achieving truly sustainable clean growth. We look forward to seeing B.C. continue to forge ahead as a global leader in climate action and policy while building a prosperous and resilient future for both its residents and businesses.

To learn more, refer to the Province of British Columbia’s website on Clean Growth Intentions Papers.


Published: August 24, 2018
Honourable George Heyman
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
PO Box 9047 Stn Prov Gov
Victoria, BC V8W 9E2

Via Email and
Delivered August 23, 2018

Re: British Columbia’s Clean Growth Intentions Paper

Dear Minister Heyman,

As the economic development agency for the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Economic Commission knows there is a strong and clear business case for climate action. Vancouver has demonstrated how to grow an economy while reducing carbon emissions; the city has increased its GDP by 26% since 2007 while reducing GHGs by 9%. We were the first major city in North America to set a goal to become 100% renewable by 2050 and have set numerous ambitious objectives for building a zero-waste and circular economy.

Clean growth means economic opportunity. Since 2010, the number of green jobs in Vancouver has grown by 35% in sectors such as cleantech, green buildings and waste management. Our supportive policies, smart infrastructure and progressive business ecosystem have also enabled the rapid growth of non-extractive, knowledge-based industries like film & TV, media & entertainment, and technology. For example, spending by the film & TV production sector has more than doubled since 2012, growing by an astonishing 135% from $1.2 billion to $3.8 billion in 2017.

The Province of British Columbia has exemplified economic and moral leadership the world urgently needs, moving B.C. towards science-based sustainability targets and developing rigorous plans to achieve these objectives. Through innovative economic incentives and multilateral collaboration, together we can develop sustainable prosperity and meaningful employment across all industries in the province.

Based on our experience and expertise in sustainable economic development, we recommend that B.C.’s new Clean Growth Strategy includes the following:

  • Enhanced support for fast-growing, newly emerging sectors like social innovation, clean technology and green economy businesses;
  • Facilitation of market transformation and the adoption of new technologies;
  • Stronger collaboration between the Province and local governments; and
  • Leveraging of B.C.’s climate leadership to build a brand that can help advocate at the national and international levels.

We have identified specific strategies for how B.C. can achieve its objectives based on our experience in Vancouver of systematically implementing green approaches to economic development. We have the data and experience to demonstrate that innovation, efficiency, and conservation in the reuse of all natural and human resources are successfully increasing jobs, incomes, productivity, and competitiveness. By implementing sustainable and clean economic development strategies, B.C. can grow its local business ecosystems, improve standards of living and enhance the natural environment. We can build a competitive, prosperous, resilient economy for many generations to come while stepping forward as an exemplary global leader for clean growth.


The Team at the Vancouver Economic Commission

Andrew Weaver | B.C. Green Party Caucus |
Hon. Bruce Ralston | Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology |
Mark Zacharias | Deputy Minister of Environment |
Bobbi Plecas | Deputy Minister of Climate Change |

Media Contact:
Ingrid Valou | Communications Specialist | | 604.868.1990

State of Vancouver’s Green Economy 2018 report (View)

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