Climate Action Plan

Photo Credit: Hover Collective

The University of British Columbia (UBC) developed the Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the Vancouver Campus and address the impacts of climate change.


UBC’s commitment to climate action is about being an exemplary global institution and mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

In line with this commitment, UBC established some of the most aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets in North America in 2010. UBC’s Board of Governors approved the UBC Climate Action Plan in 2010, including the following GHG reduction targets against a 2007 baseline for the Vancouver campus: 

  • 33% reduction by 2015
  • 67% reduction by 2020
  • 100% reduction by 2050

Success to Date

UBC has achieved a 33% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions from a 2007 baseline, despite an increase in both building space and student enrolment. This success was achieved primarily through three major projects:

  • Converting the Academic District Energy System from steam to hot water
  • Building the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF) to provide renewable heat and power
  • Optimizing academic building performance and reducing energy consumption through the Building Tune-Up Program

Next Steps

Building on this success, the UBC Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2020 was developed, outlining a series of actions UBC could take towards achieving a 67% GHG emissions reduction below 2007 levels.

A number of options were identified by workshops with stakeholders, subject matter experts and a campus wide public consultation in the fall and winter of 2015/2016. Recommendations coming out of this process, in addition to further technical and economical feasibility analysis of energy supply options, will be presented to the Board of Governors in 2017.