Aerial of Surrey and the Port Mann bridge in the distance

Surrey’s Plan for a Zero Carbon, Climate-Resilient City

We are developing a new Climate Change Action Strategy to reach Surrey’s ambitious 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets and improve the community’s resilience to climate change impacts.

Strategy Summary

Climate change is happening here and now.

Surrey’s residents are experiencing hotter summers, poor air quality from wildfire smoke, and more frequent winter flooding, among other impacts. These have growing costs to individuals and society. Globally, climate change is putting entire ecosystems, economies, and human welfare at risk.  

In response, Surrey City Council declared a Climate Emergency, joining hundreds of other cities and countries worldwide, and approved bold new targets to reduce carbon pollution – also known as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These targets are:

  • net zero community wide GHG emissions before 2050. Net zero means that emissions are reduced as much as possible, and any remaining emissions are balanced by removing carbon from the atmosphere, such as by planting trees. Community-wide refers to emissions from sources within Surrey’s city boundaries.
  • absolute zero corporate GHG emissions before 2050. Absolute zero means that all emissions from the City’s operations are eliminated. Corporate means emissions from assets – like vehicles, buildings, equipment – that are owned or contracted by the City.

These targets are consistent with the action needed to limit global warming to 1.5C, as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming, and with targets adopted by Metro Vancouver.  

Surrey City Council has also directed staff to develop a new plan that charts a roadmap with interim targets for reaching these outcomes, and incorporates climate change adaptation.

Climate action means doing our part and working together – citizens, businesses, City governments, other levels of government, industry, providers of energy and transit – to both reduce the carbon pollution that’s causing climate change and improve the ability to adapt to expected climate change impacts.

Many climate actions will also bring benefits for health, quality of life, and economic opportunities.

Where We Are At

  • Completed
  • Started
  • Pending
Phase 1 – Summer/Fall 2020

Taking Stock

  • GHG emissions inventory and modelling
  • Best practices review
Phase 2 – Winter 2020/2021

Mapping Net Zero

  • Exploring and modelling policy shifts
  • Internal engagement
Phase 3 – Spring/Summer 2021

Sharing & Listening

  • Sharing information and seeking community feedback
  • Refining the policy framework
Phase 4 – Fall 2021

Finalizing the Plan

  • Completing and sharing the draft plan for feedback
  • Seeking Council approval

Where Does Surrey’s Carbon Pollution Come From?

Where Does Surrey’s Carbon Pollution Come From? Graphic

Surrey’s carbon pollution comes from a few different sources, such as:

  • On-road transportation 47%
  • Buildings 40%
  • Non-road vehicles 10%
  • Waste 2.5% 
  • Industry 0.52%

Source: City of Surrey's updated GHG inventory for 2019

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Contact

For more information on the project, please contact the project team at sustainability@surrey.ca.