Lights, camera, climate action: Metro Vancouver seeks green option to diesel generators used by film industry

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      On January 26 this year, Movie Maker Magazine released its list of top places in North America for filmmakers to live and work.

      Metro Vancouver ranked number five.

      It came behind Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, and leading city, Albuquerque.

      In its report, the magazine mentioned  that Sandra Bullock shot an untitled Netflix film in the Chinatown district of Vancouver in 2020.

      Movie Maker Magazine also noted that Vancouverites are “accustomed to seeing famous faces around town”.

      It stated that “generous, sustainable tax incentives, and temperate Canadian weather have lured many an A-lister up the Pacific Coast”.

      There’s also a mention about Vancouver’s natural wonders.

      The publication stated that “you can ponder what it might be about as you walk along nine beaches stretching out over 18 kilometers — that’s about 11 miles in American”.

      Now if we can just make filming here in these parts more green, that would be great for the environment.

      That is exactly being planned by the Metro Vancouver regional government.

      In a report, Roger Quan, director of air quality and climate change, presented 10 projects for funding under the district’s sustainability program.

      One of these is titled ‘Lights, Camera, Climate Action!’

      The project seeks to identify clean alternatives to diesel generators being used by the film industry.

      “The portable diesel generators currently used on film sets generate greenhouse gases (GHGs), air contaminants such as diesel particulate matter (DPM), and noise pollution,” according to a summary of the project.

      The document recalled that Metro Vancouver film sets consumed an estimated 6.3 million liters of diesel in 2018.

      This produced approximately 16,910 tonnes of GHG emissions.

      “In addition to GHG emissions, diesel generators release air contaminants such as DPM, nitrogen oxides and others, which have been shown to have significant public health impacts, as well as impacts on the environment,” the summary noted.

      It also explained that non‐road diesel engines, which include portable diesel generators, generate 41 percent of DPM emissions in the region.

      Moreover, DPM contributes to 67 percent of the lifetime cancer risk associated with air contaminants in Metro Vancouver.

      “By transitioning to cleaner alternatives to diesel generators, the film industry can reduce public exposure to air contaminants and improve public health,” the summary stated.

      It also noted that according to the Vancouver Economic Commission, the film industry spent $4.1 billion in B.C. in 2019.

      “Creating a model that allows for electric power access for the film industry could be a revenue generating opportunity for local governments and stimulate new jobs in the region,” the document stated.

      In addition, a clean energy generator system will also benefit other users in construction sites, food trucks, and festivals.

      The 2021-2022 ‘Lights, Camera, Climate Action!’ study is proposed for funding of $200,000.

      Quan’s report is included in the agenda Friday (February 26) of the Metro Vancouver board of directors.