MEDIA RELEASE DECEMBER 2, 2021
Concerned climate advocates call on Toronto City Council to add specificity, accelerate timelines and to commit to implement the City’s new TransformTO plan to achieve Net Zero by 2040.
Toronto City Council will need faster timelines, more detail, and an iron-clad commitment to implement and fully fund its updated TransformTO plan if it hopes to deliver on its highly-touted plan to bring the city to net-zero by 2040, ClimateFast will say in its deputation to the city’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee today.
“This is a visionary plan and Toronto is the first city in Canada to consider such a goal. We applaud the City for proposing an ambitious climate target in line with the science.” Said Lyn Adamson, Co-Chair, ClimateFast. “But we must be sure the plan is achievable, that it is a green plan, and not just a ‘green wish”.
Colleen Lynch called for Council to adopt “a robust climate lens applied across all departments in planning and funding decisions”.
ClimateFast members offered specific proposals to strengthen the plan:
- Advancing dates for several urgent changes including emissions reduction requirements for new and existing buildings
- Making sure that Toronto Hydro uses its resources to work with the City on this plan
- Engaging citizens in meaningful involvement – setting up working groups for the six areas of focus in the plan and a Net Zero Task Force
- Taking direct leadership; not waiting for the province and the federal governments
- Being ready to fund what’s needed: spending now is a much better investment than paying the price for lack of climate action later.
- A carbon budget and a climate lens on all decisions
Liz Addison called on the City to set up a ‘conductor for the orchestra’ to coordinate implementation of the plan.
“We need greater visibility and support for TransformTO’ said Sharon Bider
“We need much greater citizen engagement and public education” said retired teacher Val Endicott. “Many people do not know what they can do to respond to the climate crisis”.
Anne Keary called for a bold communication strategy. “Most people in Toronto have never even heard of TransformTO.”
ClimateFast hosted a training for citizens considering deputing to City Council on Monday Nov 29th. Dozens are expected to speak out at City Council at today’s Committee session.
On July 15, 2021 Council voted to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
ClimateFast has advocated since 2012 for fast action on climate at all three levels of government.