Toronto, Sept 20 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made today by Toronto Mayor John Tory that he will lead Toronto in joining 800 other governments around the world in declaring a climate emergency, media reports said.
The consideration of the the declaration of a climate emergency would be done at the Oct. 2 meeting of City Council keeping in mind the purpose of naming, framing and deepening Toronto's commitment to protecting our community, our economy, and our ecosystems from climate change.
Being a member of C40, and ahead of the C40 World Mayors Summit, Toronto is joining other cities around the world to acknowledge the scale of the climate crisis. Climate emergency has been declared by more than 800 local governments in 16 countries including Amsterdam, Auckland, Barcelona, London, Los Angeles, Montréal, New York City, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney and Vancouver.
Our residents and businesses in Toronto, over the past few years had been dealing with the effects of more frequent flooding and other severe weather events brought on by climate change. It was also noted by our City's Resilience Strategy that Toronto's risk of Toronto is increasing due to its weather getting hotter, wetter and wilder.
With his commitment to lead City of Toronto in addressing climate change, the Mayor is collaborating with our partners in the provincial and federal governments to enact real and meaningful actions that will protect future generations.
"Climate change and global warming poses a major risk to our city's residents and businesses," said Mayor John Tory. "That's why we are taking action through plans like TransformTO and adaptation strategies such as Toronto's Resilience Strategy. This emergency declaration serves to join cities across the world in tackling climate change, frame the impact of climate change on our residents and businesses, and enhance Toronto's commitment to a net zero carbon future."
This announcement was made on the same day Mayor Tory and members of the City's debenture committee approved Toronto's second green bond. This $200 million bond will be used to invest in environmental projects including the Port Lands flood protection, energy efficiency retrofits for Toronto Community Housing buildings, cycling infrastructure, and installing solar panels at City facilities to generate at least five per cent of its energy.
TransformTO plan to reach greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets of 80% reduction by 2050 based on 1990 levels was approved by the Toronto City Council in 2017.
A set of strategies to achieve Toronto's established carbon reduction goals laid out by TransformTO are now underway.
In recent months, cities from across the world are collaborating to tackle carbon reduction to facilitate achievement of the major change necessary to keep global warming to 1.5°C
Councillor Jennifer McKelvie, the Mayor's Resilience Champion supported the climate emergency declaration.
"Action on climate change will define this generation. Toronto has a climate emergency," said Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Ward 25 Scarborough-Rouge Park). "Climate change impacts are being felt today, we can’t wait until tomorrow to take action. C40 is an opportunity for global learning that will challenge Toronto to do more."
Councillor Mike Layton, vice-chair of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and responsible for establishing the climate subcommittee that would later develop TransformTO, is supportive of Toronto declaring a climate emergency.
“I am proud to stand beside Toronto residents and experts calling for greater action on climate change, particularly the strong movement of youth," said Councillor Layton (Ward 11 University-Rosedale). "Toronto needs to show leadership as we join the international community to call for greater action on the climate crisis - that means stronger targets, accelerating the programs we have and finding new tools, and more involvement from all communities impacted by climate change."