News Release
April 17, 2024

Today, Toronto City Council adopted a series of actions to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 in Toronto, as outlined in the staff report, “Toronto’s Climate Change Readiness: Updates on commitments and a refreshed mandate for coordinating resilience activities.”

The staff report also includes the first Annual TransformTO Net Zero Progress and Accountability Report, highlighting the City’s progress towards meeting Toronto’s climate action goals as part of its TransformTO Net Zero Strategy.

Climate action progress

The City’s approach to tackling climate change involves two critical components:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
  • Readying communities for changing climate by adapting and preparing for the impacts of extreme or changing weather conditions.

So far, the City’s cutting-edge actions are reducing emissions in buildings and transportation. Some notable achievements include:

  • In 2021, City-wide emissions were 41 per cent below 1990 levels (most recent inventory year) against targets of 45 per cent by 2025, 65 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2040.
  • The Toronto Green Standard, the City’s sustainable design requirements for new building developments, is helping reduce emissions by 15,000 t CO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) per year.
  • New Emission Performance Standards for existing buildings will help building owners accelerate the shift away from fossil (natural) gas toward clean energy.
  • The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is integrating new electric buses and is on track for a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2037 – three years ahead of schedule.
  • Corporate emissions from City-owned vehicles are on track to meet the target of 45 per cent emission reduction by 2025.

While these are positive signs, the City’s goal of net zero emissions by 2040 remains at risk unless all orders of government, residents and businesses support and invest in transformative actions, such as making existing buildings more energy efficient and a carbon-free electricity grid, that meet the scope and scale of the climate challenge.

A renewed approach

To address the worsening effects of climate change, City staff are recommending a fully coordinated, integrated and equitable city-wide approach to making assets, services and communities more resilient.

As per direction from City Council, staff will report back to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee in the fourth quarter of 2025 with a refreshed governance approach that integrates climate resilience into decision-making and co-ordination across City services, assets and communities.

In addition, City staff will develop the next iteration of the TransformTO Net Zero Implementation Plan for 2026-2030, with a timeline, resources and processes for the next generation of policies and programs to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. The Plan will also include targets for the installation of clean technologies and mechanisms to track Toronto’s progress towards these goals.

Also in 2024, as part of the first annual Carbon Budget prioritization process, City Divisions, Agencies and Corporations will identify new or enhanced actions to reduce GHG emissions to inform decision-making as part of the 2025 budget process.

Impacts of climate change 

The new progress report, considered during Earth Month, comes as Toronto, the rest of Canada and the world continue to experience costly climate change impacts that include extreme heat, wildfires, flooding and storm events.

In Toronto, the number of days per year with temperatures above 30°C (extreme heat days) has increased to about 18 days annually from an average of eight days in the 1950s. Data further suggests that by 2080 Toronto will experience a 19 per cent increase in annual precipitation and extreme rainstorms with 30 per cent more rainfall than the historical baseline (1971-2000) that could result in flooding, infrastructure damage, ecological degradation and severe disruptions to services and the economy.

Toronto’s Climate Change Readiness Report is available on the City’s website.

The first Annual TransformTO Net Zero Progress and Accountability Report.


“Toronto is at an inflection point, where our potential as a city of opportunity is being challenged by climate impacts. The sooner we act, the better our chances are of getting ahead and leading the way in creating an equitable, sustainable city. This annual progress report rightly outlines the urgent need for a renewed focus on climate action and accountability.”

– Mayor Olivia Chow

“This report reinforces Toronto’s commitment to leading climate action. I look forward to working with City staff, communities and all levels of government to continue implementing our ambitious plan for a net zero Toronto by 2040.”

– Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee

“What this report tells us is that our actions are making a difference, but it also clearly shows that we are a long way from achieving our 2040 targets. The time to do more is now, and we have set in motion a coordinated and renewed approach that ensures long-term climate resiliency in Toronto.”

– Councillor Dianne Saxe (University-Rosedale), Mayor’s Environmental Champion

Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation and climate action, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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