VICTORIA — The City of Victoria will require all new construction to be zero carbon by 2025, part of its accelerated climate action plan to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“Buildings account for nearly half of all greenhouse gas pollution generated in the city,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “Each new building will last more than 50 years so raising the bar now is critical to meeting our long-term climate goals, and to preparing the taxpayers of the future to have less climate-related costs down the road.”
This new requirement will take effect following the introduction of BC Building Code carbon pollution standards later this year. By July 2025, all new buildings in the city will be required to meet a zero carbon standard. This adoption will be about five years ahead of the expected Provincial requirements and is necessary for Victoria to meet the 2030 goals in its Climate Leadership Plan.
These requirements will largely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from new buildings, accounting for up to 7 per cent of total community emissions reductions needed by 2050.
Victoria is one of the first municipalities in British Columbia to make all new construction zero carbon polluting and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels for water and space heating.
The new requirements and phase-in schedule was developed following engagement with the local building industry, co-led by the City of Victoria, the District of Saanich and the District of Central Saanich with support from the CRD. The engagement focused on how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new construction through the BC Energy Step Code and the forthcoming carbon pollution standards.
The new provincial carbon pollution standards give municipalities more effective tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new construction, in addition to the BC Energy Step Code. Buildings are one of four priority areas the City is working with the community to drive down emissions and build a prosperous, low carbon future. The other sectors are mobility, waste and municipal operations.