Metro Vancouver enjoyed clean air and clear skies throughout 2019, with a total of zero days under an air quality advisory – a welcome change after two summers of unprecedented wildfire smoke.
Monitoring data shows that levels of air contaminants generally improved over the last decade, even as the region’s population continued to grow.
That’s a key highlight from the 2020 Caring for the Air report, which summarizes air quality trends and describes Metro Vancouver’s actions to improve air quality and address climate change in the region.
Challenging times bring out our resiliency, and this year’s report was prepared in early 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic response. While there are indications of significant global changes in air quality levels and much discussion on the benefits of good air quality on public health and resiliency, next year’s edition of Caring for the Air will examine in more detail how this response affected air quality in Metro Vancouver.
The 2020 report covers topics like:
- Metro Vancouver’s leadership on climate action and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction
- The effects of heavy truck traffic on air close to major roads
- The potential air quality impacts of ride-hailing services
- What the new wood smoke bylaw may mean for residents
- The impact of volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions
- How to improve resilience to heat waves, water shortages and wildfires
Climate change and air quality are strongly linked, since many major sources of greenhouse gases are also major sources of health-harming air contaminants. Metro Vancouver is currently working on its next Clean Air Plan, which will identify actions to manage air quality and greenhouse gases in the region.