The City’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy, which outlines a pathway to achieve net zero emissions in Toronto by 2040 – was adopted by Toronto City Council on December 15, 2021. Learn more below.
Toronto City Council has adopted an ambitious strategy to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040 – 10 years earlier than initially proposed. The City of Toronto is one of only three big cities in North America with this 2040 target.
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.
With the adoption of the Net Zero Strategy, the City’s GHG reduction targets, from 1990 levels, are:
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.) Toronto’s community-wide emissions must be cut in half in the next 10 years to meet the 2030 target of a 65 per cent emissions reduction.
To reach its targets, 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. Like other major cities globally, the City issues its emissions inventory on a two-year lag cycle, to ensure the best available data. Toronto’s 2020 GHG Inventory will be released in 2022.
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 (seven per cent), mainly from methane released in landfills. For more information, please see the Greenhouse Gas Inventory tabs below.
Everyone can play a role in reducing Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more.
To ensure that Toronto is on track to reach net zero by 2040, the following 2030 goals have been established.
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 38 per cent lower in 2019 than in 1990, which means that Toronto is on track to meet its 2020 GHG reduction target of 30 percent. Learn more about Toronto’s 2019 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.
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:
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 and access City programs and supports available to help you get started.
According to the latest inventory release (2019), overall emissions have been reduced 38 per cent from 1990 levels, while Toronto’s population and economy continued to grow. Toronto must rapidly decrease its annual emissions to meet future targets.
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.
The City hosted public consultations for the development of the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy between late June and early August, 2021. The online consultation program consisted of a Community Discussion Guide, a Net Zero Strategy and Climate Actions Backgrounder, an explainer video, an online survey and an online ideas board. View the consultation report at the link below.
From August 2015 to July 2016, the first phase of TransformTO engagement encouraged residents to contribute their ideas for a low-carbon Toronto in 2050. More than 2,000 residents identified ideas and actions.
The City is exploring collaborative approaches to involve Indigenous Traditional Knowledges (ITK) and Indigenous communities in designing and delivering climate action in Toronto. The City partnered with Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) to design, host, and report on the outcomes of a workshop with Indigenous communities on urban climate action. The following report summarizes the learnings from the workshop.
This report created through the USDN Building Diversity Fellowship, offers recommendations on how best to engage marginalized and equity-seeking groups in developing climate action plans and designing and implementing climate solutions.
Reports on the City’s ongoing community engagement efforts:
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.
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; please enter this URL in your browser: https://cis-community.ssg.coop/toronto/emissions.
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