It is often said about garbage that it can’t be thrown ‘away’, because there is no ‘away’. What’s meant by this expression is that our planet is a closed system. We are responsible for our waste and pollutants and we should deal with what we create. Nowhere is this more true than in our atmosphere, a resource shared by all. Metro Vancouver and partners continue to work on improving our air quality and protecting our climate, to benefit both our region and other parts of the world. Here’s some of the ways we do it.
Measure, Understand, Improve
Just like garbage, air pollution can’t be wished away. But it does travel, across oceans and continents. Of course we can’t directly change pollutants coming from other parts of the world, but we can and do take responsibility for the things we can change. Whether it’s a natural source or due to human activity, greenhouse gases, pollutants such as ground level ozone, fine particulates from burning fossil fuels or wood, or emerging pollutants such as ultra-fine particles Metro Vancouver is continually working to measure, understand, and improve our air quality.
Emissions Inventory Tracks Local Impact
Emissions inventories, describing the types and amounts of contaminants released into the air by different sources, are done every five years. The last one was done for 2010. We also compile an emission backcast and forecast, which helps us to track how emissions have changed over the past 20 years and how we expect them to change in the future.
Caring for the Air
In the 2015 Caring for the Air report Metro Vancouver describes the important work underway to tackle air quality and climate change issues and offers residents information to understand the factors that impact our air quality.
link to: Caring for the Air 2015
To read previous editions of Metro Vancouver’s Caring for the Air reports please visit:
Cars, Trucks, and Cows
What’s the connection between electric cars, diesel trucks, a dairy farm, and air quality? Watch this 2012 episode of The Sustainable Region to learn how we can have a positive impact on air quality and climate change in the Metro Vancouver region when we reduce emissions from vehicles and agriculture.
The Sustainable Region Ep 10 2012 Air Quality & Climate Change – Sept 2012