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Toronto’s report on the road to zero-emissions

Toronto’s report on the road to zero-emissions

Electric vehicle rebate among staff proposals to speed up Toronto’s target to become a carbon neutral city by 2040

On Monday, the city will release its final draft of a report, “Innovation for a Sustainable City: The Road to Zero Reduction,” which will lay out a comprehensive new plan for Toronto to become a carbon-neutral city and transition to a zero-emission city.

“It’s a good thing our current Mayor, John Tory, has endorsed this report. It’s a good thing that his administration has endorsed it,” says David Black, Toronto’s assistant city manager, who worked as a member of the City-University Strategic Plan Advisory Group in 2015 and chaired that committee in 2016.

“It’s a good thing that they’ve appointed a Climate Action Plan Chair, who is committed to taking this to fruition with the best information and evidence available. We just need a change in the mindset of the city council to allow this to move quickly, so that all city departments can work together on this and we can make this happen.”

To put the city’s targets for reducing greenhouse gases in context, the city expects to achieve a 4.5 per cent reduction in greenhouse emissions from 2011 levels by 2030, but the report says that it will need to be 8.5 per cent before 2040. That’s in contrast to Ontario’s 2050 target for cutting emissions to 50 per cent below 1990 levels, which is 7.8 per cent.

The report also suggests, however, that the city could achieve a more ambitious goal of achieving a 13 per cent reduction by 2040.

“The city’s target for a zero-emission mandate for the city by 2040 will require a massive investment in public and private technologies and systems,” notes the report.

The report’s executive summary highlights the need for the city to have a strategy to drive adoption of zero-emissions technologies through economic incentives, municipal procurement programmes that give preference to energy-efficient technologies, and a new city-owned clean energy corporation.

An interim report

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