Skip to main content

1. Bold City Leadership

Vision for 2050

The City of Surrey stands among this region’s leaders in placing equitable climate action at the heart of decision-making. The City’s own vehicles, buildings, and infrastructure are free of carbon pollution and prepared for climate change impacts well before 2050. With support from the City and other partners, residents are empowered and engaged in tackling the climate crisis. Surrey’s actions set a path for many others to follow, and support a thriving, local green economy.

In Surrey we have many existing examples of climate leadership to build upon. For example:

  • The Clayton Community Centre, North America’s first Passive House certified community centre, burns no fossil fuel and uses 90 per cent less energy than a community centre built to the minimum legal requirements.
  • The Surrey Biofuel Facility turns yard waste and kitchen scraps into renewable fuel for waste collection vehicles.
  • Surrey City Energy, a City-owned neighbourhood energy utility that provides heat to large buildings in City Centre, is being transitioned to use waste heat from the sewer system instead of natural gas. The new energy centre is planned to be up and running in 2026.
  • Surrey was among the first cities in British Columbia to require electric vehicle charging for all residential parking in new developments, and the City continues to expand the public charging network.
  • The City has strong policies, such as a Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, and the BC Energy Step Code for new construction.
  • Surrey has an award-winning Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy (CFAS), supported by $76 million in federal funding. The CFAS applies engineering with “nature-based solutions” to protect lands and infrastructure from climate-related flooding.

These and other examples provide a strong base to build on, but there’s more to do to meet the City’s community and corporate greenhouse gas targets. This includes making “flagship” projects like the Clayton Community Centre the new business as usual, ensuring City resources are sufficient to support scaling up our efforts, investing in climate-resilient assets, and developing new tools, processes, and partnerships.

However, the City cannot act alone. Meaningful progress in the zero-carbon transition also requires regulatory changes and financial support from senior governments and agencies such as BC Hydro and TransLink, as well as leadership and participation of businesses and the community.

The Shifts and supporting actions for Bold City Leadership represent foundations needed to achieve outcomes across the other components of the CCAS. They can act as catalysts to spark bigger changes in the community, build trust, and foster collaboration with and among residents, businesses, industry, academia, and others. They can also set direction for responsible fiscal management and risk management in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Climate Financial Disclosures.

Interim corporate greenhouse gas targets will be developed pending further analysis.