• Councillor Mark Grimes

Toronto scores an ‘A’ for climate leadership

The City of Toronto is being recognized as a global leader on environmental action and transparency, achieving a place on the Customer Data Platform's (CDP) “CDP Cities A List” for the third consecutive year. Toronto is one of 105 cities globally to receive the 2021 'A' designation, from among more than 1,000 cities reporting their environmental impact through the CDP system.

The City is being recognized for its actions to develop a robust climate change strategy, track its actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, assess and mitigate climate risks and transparently report the information in its 2021 disclosure to CDP.

CDP, 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.

Toronto City Council’s adoption of the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy in December 2021 set the city on the path to reduce community-wide emissions to net zero by 2040, 10 years earlier than initially proposed. Toronto’s net zero by 2040 target is one of the most ambitious in North America.

Community-wide GHG emissions in Toronto were 38 per cent lower in 2019 than in 2009, according to the City’s most recent Greenhouse Gas Inventory (2019), despite the city’s rapid growth over that same period. Toronto is on track to meet the City’s 2020 target of a 30 per cent reduction in emissions from 2009 levels.

Achieving future GHG reduction targets will require additional federal and provincial investment and support, as well as support from Toronto’s residents and businesses.

City plans, programs and strategies already in place to reduce community-wide GHG emissions from key sources include:

  • The Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy (https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/water-environment/environmentally-friendly-city-initiatives/transformto/) to significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels in all existing residential, commercial and institutional buildings. The strategy will see the City implement voluntary performance measures and targets initially, intending to begin the transition to mandatory requirements in 2025.

  • The Net Zero Carbon Plan to reduce emissions from more than 2,500 City-owned buildings (approximately 9.5 million square metres) by at least 80 per cent by 2040.

  • An updated (version four) Toronto Green Standard (TGS), which continues to raise the bar to all but eliminate the use of natural gas in new buildings. For more than 10 years, the TGS has helped transform the market, resulting in 169,000 tonnes of avoided carbon dioxide emissions annually. Learn more here.

  • The Green Will Initiative, which sees the City partner with large building portfolio owners across Toronto to accelerate emissions reductions from their buildings.

  • The BetterHomesTO and Home Energy Loan Programs, which provide information and resources, including low-interest loans, to help homeowners undertake home energy retrofits.

  • Toronto's Electric Vehicle (EV) strategy, which reduces barriers to electric vehicle adoption, with a pilot project with EV charging stations currently installed in three wards. Learn more here.

  • The TTC's Green Bus program includes a commitment to 50 per cent of its bus feet being zero emissions by 2032. The TTC has one of the largest fleets of electric buses in North America.

  • The City's Cycling Network Plan has been rapidly expanded and connected and is advancing opportunities for more safe and zero-emissions cycling. Learn more here.

More information about Toronto’s CDP 'A' list ranking is available on the CDP website: www.cdp.net/en/cities/cities-scores.

More information about the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy is available at www.Toronto.ca/TransformTO.