Mission & mandate
TAF was established in 1991 to help the City of Toronto meet is clean air and greenhouse gas emissions reduction objectives. TAF has invested more than $50 million in local climate solutions and has helped the City itself save more than $55 million on its energy bills. By using part of a windfall realized from the sale of a long unused city jail farm in Richmond Hill, the City of Toronto invested in its own future by creating an agency that has helped spark innovative ideas like deep lake water cooling, home energy retrofit incentives, conversion of traffic signals to highly efficient LEDs, energy efficient streetlighting, and economical solar water heating for homes, pools and buildings.
The Objects of the Fund are laid out in the Toronto Atmospheric Fund Act, 1991 and 2005, specifically:
- To promote global climate stabilization by the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases and greenhouse gas precursors into the atmosphere through public education, scientific research and technology development.
- To promote air quality improvement.
- To promote public understanding of global warming and air quality problems and their implications for the urban environment.
- To create and preserve carbon sinks.
- To promote energy conservation and efficiency.
- To provide support and funding for projects related to energy efficiency, global climate stabilization and air quality improvement in co-operation with non-government organizations, governments, industries, corporations, official committees, neighbourhood organizations, universities and public and private schools.
TAF's work is focused in three program areas:
Incubating Climate Solutions: TAF excels in identifying new or better approaches and technologies, such as solar water heating, advanced lighting, electric vehicles in fleets and energy saving in residential high rises and working with partners to test them in a real-world setting to assess performance, barriers, and readiness for market. More
Mobilizing Financial Capital: TAF's investment activity is driven by a double bottom line: delivering emission reductions while generating a healthy revenue stream to fund TAF's work. TAF leverages its own funds to help attract larger private and public investments in the emissions reduction activities. It does this by demonstrating new financial approaches that build investor confidence. More
Mobilizing Social Capital: One of TAF's strengths is the relationships it has built in the community by engaging groups and partners in innovative ways. Similar to the financial mobilization strategy, TAF is leveraging its relationships within and outside of the City corporation to significantly increase the support available to local climate initiatives. More
- We identify achievable and quantifiable emission reduction opportunities
- We evaluate ideas and technologies with high potential but weak deployment
- We test and incubate new approaches and resolve financial, social and policy barriers
- We report what we've learned and encourage others to take it to the next level
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