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Eco-friendly Toronto by 2040

As the global climate crisis grows more urgent every year, the window to make significant and lasting change is disappearing. Action must happen today, and it must be at the scale and pace needed to combat climate change and create a more sustainable future for Toronto. The City’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy was approved by Toronto City Council on December 15, 2021. It establishes Toronto’s commitment to a global call for climate action and a strategy to limit global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with international goals. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), cities around the world must reach carbon neutrality by 2040 in order to keep global temperature rise under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Toronto's Net Zero Strategy

Toronto’s climate action strategy shows a number of interim and near-term targets for community-wide emissions, as well as the city’s corporate targets. Reducing GHG emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040 will demand substantial changes in how we live, work, build, and travel in the city. Toronto has made steady progress in recent years, and community-wide emissions have decreased since 1990. Despite population growth, emissions continue to go down while Toronto's gross domestic product (GDP) rises. The recent decrease in emissions can be attributed to a less carbon intensive electricity grid and lower transportation emissions from gasoline and diesel fuels. However, emissions have not decreased substantially. The city’s data shows that emissions have plateaued, showing that operating incrementally won’t be enough to put Toronto on the net zero path.

10 eco-friendly ways to help Toronto lower its carbon footprint

Rapid action to scale up existing programs, significant levels of investment and coordinated action with other levels of government are all needed to reach the city’s ambition goals. As individuals and stewards of the Earth, we can also cut GHGs in Toronto significantly. Here are ten budget friendly ways you help the city TransformTO by 2040 or earlier:

  • 1. Cut down energy and water use, especially during peak hours.
  • 2. Walk, cycle or take the TTC for trips under 5 km.
  • 3. Use transit, carpool or telework as a part of your regular routine.
  • 4. Choose electric or hybrid vehicles over gas-powered.
  • 5. Don’t idle your vehicle.
  • 6. Repair, share, swap or donate as much as possible.
  • 7. Choose products with minimal packaging.
  • 8. Buy used and vintage items more often.
  • 9. Compost food scraps.
  • 10. Enjoy more plant-based foods.
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