News Release
November 25, 2021

Today, the City of Toronto released its 2019 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory, which tracks Toronto’s progress towards GHG reduction targets and identifies key emissions sources. The City confirmed it is on track to exceed its 2020 target of a 30 per cent emissions reduction, based on 1990 levels.

In October 2019, City Council unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency, accelerate its efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and adopt a stronger emissions target for Toronto: net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. The City’s interim GHG reduction targets are 30 per cent by 2020 and 65 per cent by 2030, based on 1990 levels.

2019 GHG Inventory highlights

  • Community-wide GHG emissions were 15.6 million tonnes (MT) CO₂e(carbon dioxide equivalent) in 2019, which is 38 per cent lower than in 1990.
  • Community-wide emissions decreased nearly four per cent compared to 2018, when Toronto emitted 16.2 MT CO₂
  • The primary sources of GHG emissions in Toronto are: energy use in buildings (natural gas and electricity); transportation fuels (primarily gasoline); and waste sector emissions, which include emissions from landfills, organics and yard waste, and wastewater treatment processes.
  • Buildings – residential, commercial and industrial – were the largest source of emissions in Toronto, accounting for 57 per cent of total community-wide emissions, a decrease of less than one per cent compared to Natural gas used to heat buildings continues to be the largest source of emissions community-wide. It accounts for approximately 8.2 MT CO₂e, which represents the largest source of emissions from the buildings sector.
  • Transportation was the second largest source, accounting for 36 per cent of total community-wide emissions, a decrease of almost three per cent compared to Passenger cars, trucks, vans, and buses accounted for approximately 73 per cent of all transportation emissions. Gasoline used by vehicles accounts for about 4.5 MT CO₂e, which represents the largest source of emissions from the transportation sector.
  • Waste was the third largest source, accounting for about seven per cent of total community-wide emissions.
  • The City’s corporate emissions, or local government emissions, decreased nearly four per cent compared to 2018 and continued to account for about five per cent of community-wide emissions.
  • Toronto must rapidly decrease its annual emissions to meet to meet its 2030 target.

Along with TransformTO, major initiatives the City has undertaken to reduce emissions include:

  • In July 2021, City Council approved key strategies and plans to reduce emissions from buildings: a Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy to decarbonize all existing residential, commercial and institutional buildings in Toronto within the next 30 years; a Net Zero Carbon Plan to reduce emissions in City-owned buildings; and an update to the Toronto Green Standard to achieve net zero emissions in new development by 2030. More information is available online.
  • The Green Will Initiative, through which major institutional and commercial building portfolio owners work with the City to reduce energy consumption and emissions from their portfolios. Their portfolios include more than 4,500 buildings spanning more than 320 million square feet of real estate in Toronto. More information is available here.
  • Toronto’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) Strategy was approved by City Council in early 2020. In the fall of 2020, 17 on-street EV chargers were installed in three Toronto neighbourhoods, paving the way for way for a larger-scale roll-out of EV charging infrastructure in Toronto. More information is available online.
  • BetterHomesTO, a multi-partner program that aims to help Toronto homeowners make their homes more energy efficient. Through its Home Energy Loan program, the City offers loans of up to $75,000 to help homeowners cover the cost of energy efficiency improvements, including heat pumps and rooftop solar PV. More information is available here.

In response to City Council’s climate emergency declaration in 2019, the City is updating its TransformTO climate action strategy to meet an accelerated GHG emissions reduction target of net zero by 2050 or sooner.

Like other major cities globally, the City releases its emissions inventory on a two-year lag cycle. To ensure the best available data, Toronto waits for Canada’s inventory to be submitted to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, as part of its commitment to the Paris Agreement. Canada’s submission contains detailed province-specific values that are used to calculate Toronto’s emissions.

On November 18, 2021, the City was recognized as a global leader on environmental action and transparency, achieving a place on the “CDP Cities A List” for the fourth consecutive year. CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), an environmental impact non-profit organization, runs the global environmental disclosure system that helps companies, cities and regions measure and manage their risks, and opportunities, on climate change, water security and deforestation.

More information about the City’s 2019 GHG Inventory is available online.

Quotes:

“Addressing the impacts of climate change has increasingly become an issue that requires immediate attention. The City of Toronto made it clear that not only did we want to lead when it came to reducing our carbon footprint, but that we would implement policies to make it happen as quickly as possible. The City along with its residents, businesses and partners have made great strides in reducing community-wide GHG emissions, but we still have work to do. I remain committed to addressing this issue and supporting changes that will help us reduce our footprint and make Toronto a cleaner and greener city.”

– Mayor John Tory

“We must continue to work together – residents, businesses and all levels of government – to address the climate emergency. Transforming how we live, build and travel will be challenging and we must all do our part.”

– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of Parks and Environment Committee and the Mayor’s Environment and Resilience Champion

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 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 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.

Media Relations