Toronto’s Sector-Based Emissions Inventory (SBEI) identifies the quantity and sources of emissions for the city over a year. It also provides opportunities for the City to track its progress towards meeting greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

 

Toronto City Council has adopted an ambitious strategy to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040 – 10 years earlier than initially proposed. The City’s 2040 target is one of the most ambitious in North America.

The Net Zero Strategy triggers new and accelerated implementation actions to drive down community-wide emissions, particularly in the short term, and establishes the trajectory needed to reach net zero by 2040.

The targets and actions presented in the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy were developed through extensive research and consultation across City divisions and agencies, stakeholders and the public.

Review reports and updates on the TransformTO strategy and community engagement.

The City surpassed its GHG emissions reduction target of 30 per cent by 2020, due to an anomaly year during COVID-19 restrictions. The City’s future GHG reduction targets, from 1990 levels, are:

  • 45 per cent by 2025
  • 65 per cent by 2030
  • 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 Strategy identifies actions and targets to be achieved by 2030 in key sectors, including buildings, transportation and waste. (More information on the targets is available in the 2030 Goals by Sector tab, below.)

To reach its targets, the City will use its influence to regulate, advocate and facilitate transformation in five key areas:

  • Demonstrate carbon accountability locally and globally, by establishing a carbon budget for its own operations and the community as a whole.
  • Accelerate a rapid and significant reduction in natural gas use.
  • Establish performance targets for existing buildings across Toronto.
  • Increase access to low-carbon transportation options, including walking, biking, public transit and electric vehicles.
  • Increase local renewable energy to contribute to a resilient, carbon-free grid.

Community-wide emissions have decreased by 41 per cent since 1990, despite a significant growth in population, and while Toronto’s gross domestic product (GDP) continued to rise. Like other major cities globally, the City issues its emissions inventory on a two-year lag cycle, to ensure the best available data.

The primary sources of GHG emissions in Toronto are homes and buildings (56 per cent), mainly from burning natural gas to heat space and water; transportation (35 per cent), mainly from gasoline used in personal vehicles; and waste (9 per cent), mainly from methane released in landfills. For more information, please see the Sector and Consumption-Based Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories tab below.

TransformTO Net Zero Strategy Wins Award

On May 2, 2022, the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy won the Environment, Climate and Energy Award at the 9th annual American Planning Association Awards for Excellence in Sustainability, achieving a nearly perfect score. The award honours a plan or project that addresses current and future needs related to climate change mitigation or adaptation, energy or water efficiency, renewable or alternative energy, green jobs, air quality, green infrastructure, or other efforts related to environment, climate, and energy planning.

In July 2017, Toronto’s TransformTO climate action strategy was unanimously approved by City Council. It includes a set of long-term, low-carbon goals and strategies to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and improve our health, grow our economy, and improve social equity. The Net Zero Strategy adopted by Council in December 2021 builds on the initial TransformTO Strategy.

On October 2, 2019, City Council voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency and accelerate efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, adopting a stronger emissions reduction target of net zero by 2050 or sooner. In response, the City has developed the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy, which outlines a pathway to achieve net zero emissions community-wide by 2040.

GHG emissions in Toronto were 43 per cent lower in 2020 than in 1990, which means that Toronto exceeded its 2020 GHG reduction target of 30 percent. Learn more about Toronto’s 2020 greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory.

Achieving the targets set out in TransformTO will require transformational changes in how we live, work, build and commute. Learn about how we can #TransformTO Together.

For more background information, please visit Reports & Resources.

To ensure that Toronto is on track to reach net zero by 2040, the following 2030 goals have been established.

Homes & Buildings

  • All new homes and buildings will be designed and built to be near zero greenhouse gas emissions
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings will be cut in half, from 2008 levels

Energy

  • 50 per cent of community-wide energy comes from renewable or low-carbon sources
  • 25 per cent of commercial and industrial floor area is connected to low carbon thermal energy sources

Transportation

  • 30 per cent of registered vehicles in Toronto are electric
  • 75 per cent of school/work trips under 5km are walked, biked or by transit

Waste

  • 70 per cent residential waste diversion from the City of Toronto’s waste management system
  • Identify pathways to more sustainable consumption in City of Toronto operations and in Toronto’s economy

City of Toronto Corporate Goals

  • City of Toronto corporate greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 65 per cent over 2008 base year
  • All City Agency, Corporation and Division-owned new developments are designed and constructed to applicable Toronto Green Standard Version 4 standard achieving zero carbon emissions, beginning in 2022
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from City-owned buildings are reduced by 60 per cent from 2008 levels; by 2040, City-owned buildings reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions
  • All City-owned facilities have achieved zero waste
  • Generate and utilize 1.5 Million Gigajoules of energy from biogas
  • Approximately 107,700 tonnes CO2e per year are reduced through Organics Processing with Renewable Energy and Landfill Gas Utilization
  • 50 per cent of the City-owned fleet is transitioned to zero-emissions vehicles
  • 50 per cent of the TTC bus fleet is zero-emissions
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from food the City of Toronto procures are reduced by 25 per cent

The City created a Climate Advisory Group to provide advice, facilitate ongoing communication and guide the effective and equitable implementation of Toronto’s climate strategy, the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy.

The purposes of the Climate Advisory Group (CAG) are to:

  • enable advice and peer review from Toronto’s diverse community to inform community-wide implementation of the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy and the Short-term Implementation Plans;
  • ensure ongoing two-way information sharing and collaboration between the City and external parties; and
  • help mobilize all sectors and communities to move toward our shared goal of a zero carbon, healthy, equitable, prosperous and resilient Toronto.

The CAG has 26 members, both individuals and representatives from organizations, who were selected for a 3-year term to act as advisors, champions and reviewers of the policies, programs and initiatives under development for implementing the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy.

Climate Advisory Group meeting materials will be shared online as available.

Draft Terms of Reference for the Climate Advisory Group

Climate Advisory Group Meetings

Agendas Meeting Summaries
November 2022 November 2022 CAG Meeting Summary
December 2022 December 2022 CAG Meeting Summary
March 2023 March 2023 CAG Meeting Summary
June 2023 June 2023 CAG Meeting Summary
September 2023 September 2023 CAG Meeting Summary (pending)
December 2023 (pending) December 2023 CAG Meeting Summary (pending)

Climate Advisory Group Annual Reports

2022 Annual Report

City of Toronto Climate Advisory Group Members

Member Role Organization
Lyn Adamson (Co-chair) Co-Founder ClimateFast
Andria Babbington President Toronto and York Region Labour Council
Chris Ballard CEO Passive House Canada
Sarah Buchanan Campaigns Director Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA)
Maggie Chang (Co-Chair)
Maria Constantinou
Kristen Evers Green Projects Team Leader Toronto District School Board (TDSB)
Lidia Ferreira Community Engagement Specialist Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW)
Barnabe Geis Executive Director Climate Ventures/Foresight Canada
Colin Guldimann
Lanrick Bennett, Jr. Our Greenway
Tinashe Kanengoni
Julius Lindsay Director, Sustainability David Suzuki Foundation
Neil MacNeil Director, Toronto Region Operations Enbridge Gas Inc.
Richard Carlson Director, Energy & Exchange Pollution Probe
Joyce McLean
Joseph Ogilvie
Rosemarie Powell Executive Director Toronto Community Benefits Network
Zamani Ra
Jeff Ranson Director of Responsible Development Northcrest Developments
John Robinson
Alienor Rougeot Co-Founder Fridays for Future
David Campbell Associate Vice President, Policy & Research Toronto Region Board of Trade
Marine Sanchez Passive House Buildings Lead RDH Building Science
Jack Zhou Partner A&J Energy Consultants

Implementation of the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy will be aligned with several existing City plans and strategies that also contribute to greenhouse gas reductions across a number of sectors, including:

Buildings

Transportation

Waste

Natural Systems

Toronto’s 2021 Sector-Based Emissions Inventory (released in 2023)

The City’s Sector-Based Emissions Inventory (SBEI) tracks Toronto’s progress towards its GHG reduction targets and identifies direct and indirect GHG emissions from three key sectors: buildings, transportation and waste.

In 2021, Toronto’s community-wide GHG emissions showed a four per cent increase over 2020. The largest percentage of emissions in Toronto are natural gas heating in residential buildings (30 per cent of Toronto’s community-wide emissions) and gasoline combustion in passenger vehicles (24 per cent of emissions).

See details and full report.

Toronto’s 2019 Consumption-Based Emissions Inventory (released in 2023)

Toronto’s first Consumption-Based Emissions Inventory (CBEI) identifies unique opportunities to help reduce Toronto’s carbon footprint within the city and globally. Toronto’s CBEI estimates the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with consumption – emissions associated with producing, transporting, using, and disposing of goods and services consumed by Toronto residents over the course of a year.

About 75 per cent of emissions in the community-wide CBEI are Scope 3 emissions, which are emissions associated with producing everything consumed by households, the largest source of which is food and also includes clothing, furniture, etc.

See details and full report.

Public engagement opportunities for TransformTO will be posted here. For reports on past engagements, please visit the Community Engagement Reports section.

Take Action

Urgent action is needed to address the climate emergency and everyone can play a part. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require big changes in how we live, work, build, travel and more.

Learn what you can do to green your life and access City programs and supports available to help you get started.

Visit Live Green Toronto to find climate action community organizations near you to take action.

Youth Engagement Strategy

As a part of the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy, the City of Toronto and University of Toronto are co-developing a strategy to support broader youth engagement in climate action with Toronto’s youth leaders and community. The strategy development process will be complete by the end of 2024. For more information, visit the project webpage.

In 2020, the City conducted a second round of technical modelling on climate actions in key sectors – buildings, energy, transportation, waste, and natural systems. This process assessed the feasibility of implementing the climate actions that have informed the 2030 targets presented in the Net Zero Strategy. More information on the modelling process can be found in the TransformTO Technical Report (Parts 1, 2 and 3) found in TransformTO Reports & Resources.

CityInSight is a data visualization tool for the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy. Toronto’s greenhouse gas technical modelling results dashboard can be viewed on the Sustainability Solutions Group website.

The Climate Action and Resiliency Research Fund (CARRF) is a City initiative to support strategic research in the areas of climate action and resilience. The Fund will be in place for the next three years (2023-2025) to support small and mid-sized research and program development projects that support the implementation of TransformTO and related climate and resilience initiatives. This program is building and strengthening relationships between the City of Toronto and academic experts, creating new student learning opportunities and advancing the City’s CivicLabTO agenda.

For more information on the CARRF, including ongoing funding opportunities, please visit the CivicLabTO website.

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