Today, Mayor John Tory announced an ambitious strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040 – 10 years earlier than initially proposed – and to achieve a 45 per cent reduction in GHG levels by 2025, on the way to a 65 per cent reduction by 2030.
If adopted by City Council, Toronto will be one of only three big cities in North America with a net zero by 2040 target.
The report will be considered by the City’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee on December 2 and if approved, by Toronto City Council on December 15.
The TransformTO Net Zero Strategy provides a roadmap of actions to achieve reductions in GHG emissions from 1990 levels.
Council’s approval of the Strategy would trigger new and accelerated implementation actions to drive down emissions, particularly in the short term, and establish the trajectory needed to reach net zero by 2040.
Meeting the City’s future GHG reduction targets will require rapid action to scale up existing programs, additional authorities for the City to implement effectively, and significant levels of investment and coordination with other levels of government.
The City will use its influence to regulate, advocate and facilitate transformation in five key areas:
Toronto is currently on track to achieve its 2020 GHG emissions reduction target of 30 per cent from 1990 levels. Community-wide emissions have decreased by 38 per cent since 1990, despite a significant growth in population, and while Toronto’s gross domestic product (GDP) continued to rise.
The primary sources of GHG emissions in Toronto are homes and buildings (57 per cent), mainly from burning natural gas to heat space and water; transportation (36 per cent), mainly from gasoline used in personal vehicles; and waste (7 per cent), mainly from methane released in landfills.
The City controls only a small portion of Toronto’s community-wide emissions directly — nearly five per cent according to the most recent greenhouse gas inventory. Achieving the targets in the Strategy will require additional federal and provincial investment and support, as well as support for Toronto’s residents and businesses.
Key City programs, policies and strategies already in place to reduce emissions from key sources include:
The Strategy builds on the City’s existing TransformTO climate action strategy, updated technical modelling, international best practices, and public consultations held between 2018 and 2021.
Read more about the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy and Short-term Implementation Plan.
“This Net Zero Strategy represents an important step forward in the good and responsible work we are doing to address climate change as a City government. I am focused on greener buildings, greener vehicles, and a greener transit system. I look forward to the discussion of this report at committee and City Council. Approving a net zero by 2040 target will mean we are creating an even cleaner and greener city. It ensures we can continue to be a prosperous, liveable, and thriving city, a city where people want to come to live and work.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Toronto’s residents and businesses are looking to the City for leadership in addressing climate change. Reaching net zero climate emissions will improve the lives of Torontonians by creating a healthier, more active and more resilient city, with new opportunities for jobs and industry.”
– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of Instructure and Environment Committee
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