Buildings in focus as Toronto declares climate change emergency

Improving the green credentials of homes and other buildings in Toronto is a key component of climate change in the city.

The City Council has declared a climate change emergency, a measure already taken by cities including Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Sydney, New York, London, Los Angeles, and Paris.

“The threat of climate change is a major issue facing our city, and all cities. The declaration approved by Council lays out what I believe are ambitious but realistic new targets to help focus our efforts when it comes to reducing Toronto's greenhouse gasses as quickly as possible," said Mayor John Tory.

The city says it aims to reach a net zero target on emissions by 2050 or earlier if possible.

The city’s climate change action plan TransformTO states that, to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and meet greenhouse gas reduction targets, several goals must be met including:

  • By 2030, all new buildings will be built to produce near-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • By 2050, all existing buildings will have been retrofitted to improve energy performance by an average of 40%.

There are also key goals on reducing energy usage, greener transportation, and better handling of waste.

The council says it will expand building energy retrofit loans.

This week, the city has launched an online survey and will begin public meetings designed to collect feedback that will inform the next TransformTO Implementation Plan to run from 2021-2023.

Mayor Tory will be in Copenhagen from October 9 to 11 to participate in the C40 World Mayors Summit to engage with other global mayors and business leaders to support sustainable action on climate change.

"Bold action is needed now. As we reduce emissions, we will also create a city that is healthier, more prosperous and more resilient for the benefit of Toronto residents and businesses," said Councillor James Pasternak, chair of the City's Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

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