LETTER: Big opportunity knocks in building retrofits

Could this help Port Alberni’s affordable housing?

To the Editor,

Re: Port Alberni to receive $8.7 million in affordable housing, Nov. 14, 2018.

As of 2050, an estimated 70 per cent of buildings standing today will still be in use. Unless we take action, homes and buildings constructed without regard for energy efficiency, carbon pollution, or air quality will continue to waste energy and cough up emissions until our children’s children are adults.

To make good on its climate goals, B.C. must reduce carbon pollution from buildings by 50–60 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030. B.C.’s task at hand is retrofitting 30,000 houses, 17,000 apartment units, and 3 million square feet of commercial space every year between now and 2050.

Meeting these goals will require private and public investment of up to $1 billion per year. This could create more than 10,000 sustainable jobs across B.C. and generate $4–8 billion in economic growth.

This is a prime example of the bold action we need to see in this fall’s B.C. climate strategy. Making our homes and buildings energy-efficient, healthy, safe, and affordable should be B.C.’s next megaproject.

Betsy Agar,

Senior analyst,

Pembina Institute,

Vancouver

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