VANCOUVER -- Metro Vancouver has been carbon neutral since 2019, and is on track to remain neutral until at least 2022, the organization announced Monday.

The regional district said the announcement applies to its operations, and says it puts the district in a "strong position to advance important climate actions."

Sav Dhaliwal, chair of Metro Vancouver's board of directors, made the announcement from Delta, B.C., at an event attended by the federal and provincial environment ministers.

"Local governments play an essential role in the fight against climate change," federal minister Johnathan Wilkinson said, via video conference.

George Heyman, B.C.'s environment minister, praised the district's leadership, which he described as being "built on collaboration and action."

Dhaliwal said climate change keeps him up at night, and that COVID-19 has led to the re-evaluation of many priorities.

"But the importance of climate and environmental actions remain unchanged."

He described the news conference as both an announcement and a call to action.

With the board's goal met, members are now calling on local businesses to try to do the same.

It also challenged residents and institutions to do their part to offset any emissions.

"We all need to play a role to ensure carbon neutrality so that future generations are able to enjoy the beauty you see here today," Dhaliwal said.

The announcement was made next to Burns Bog, in Delta, B.C.

It's an area referred to by some as the "lungs of Metro Vancouver."

Among the projects attributable for the region's net-zero emissions are the restoration of the bog, which the district says sequesters large amounts of carbon.

Parkland acquisitions, trenchless tunnel construction, and the installation of energy-efficient appliances at Metro Vancouver Housing sites are also on the list as contributors.

And the region has increased the amount of electric and hybrid vehicles in its fleet.