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Toronto Targets 30% Cut in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2020, 80% by 2050

Toronto1
Targeted greenhouse gas reductions by source, not sector. Transportation is the largest end-use sector (35%). Click to enlarge.

The city of Toronto, Ontario, has released a planning framework that targets a 6% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from the Toronto urban area by 2012 (based on 1990 levels), a 30% cut by 2020, and an 80% reduction by 2050. The targets mirror recently announced European Union goals. Additionally, the City will reduce levels of smog-causing pollutants by 20% by 2012 from a 2004 baseline.

The framework, called Change is in the Air: Toronto’s Commitment to an Environmentally Sustainable Future, is part of a report to be considered by the City’s Executive Committee on 26 March. It includes 27 suggested actions across all the major sectors: transportation, industrial, residential, commercial and waste.

The City will invite Torontonians to attend consultation sessions beginning in April, where citizens can learn more about the issues, provide input on the plan and identify opportunities to take action. Residents, large and small businesses, environmental groups, community groups, the financial sector, professional associations and institutions are encouraged to attend.

The largest source of greenhouse gases in Toronto is natural gas to heat homes and other buildings, most of which were not designed with conservation in mind. The framework suggests a plan of retrofitting 50% of single family homes and small businesses by 2020, and mandating green building standards no later than 2012.

For transportation, which is the largest contributing sector (35%), the City is suggesting a number of actions, relying on a combination of reducing consumption through increasing public transit and alternative modes of transportation such as a bikeway.

The City is proposing that the entire city diesel fleet, including vehicles for agencies, boards and commissions, switch to a B50 biodiesel blend in the summer and B20 in the winter by 2015. The City will also require companies providing haulage services to the City to use a B20 blend.

Additionally, the CIty plans to identify opportunities to replace imports with locally produced goods and food, cutting back on the number of miles travelled. As a portion of that initiative targeted at consumer behavior, the City is proposing requiring all large food retailers to indicate the shipping distance for 10 commonly used types of produce by 2012.

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Comments

stomv

The City is proposing that the entire city diesel fleet, including vehicles for agencies, boards and commissions, switch to a B50 biodiesel blend in the summer and B20 in the winter by 2015.

8 years from now, eh hosers? You can do better. It'd be one thing if all but the last vehicle were done by 2011 and it just took 4 years for that last bit. But, instead of saying 100% by 2015, why not:
2008 10%
2009 25%
2010 50%
2011 70%
2012 80%
2013 90%
2014 95%
2015 100%

It might take a year or two to ramp up, and for assorted reasons those last few vehicles might be tough. But, saying we'll do something in a timeline after most will still be in office is cheap politics. Get some done now, eh hosers?

Cervus

By what technological and financial analysis did you come up with those numbers, stormy? Seriously, 100% in eight years?

Brad

Why not in 1 year?
January 10%
Febuary 20%
March 30%
April 30%
May 40%
June 50%
July 60%
August 70%
September 70%
October 80%
November 90%
December 100%

how hard can it be?
(please note sarcasm)

Brad

P.S. (stupid not being able to edit posts) If they actually go through with this plan i'm moving to toronto.

Toron

toronto's mayor is known for big announcements, followed by inaction. Then he blames provincial and federal governments for lack of support. Relax, this is just talk.

Stan Peterson

Goo and drivel!

Cutting down on all energy uses is just pure bunk. Reducing use of clean hydro electricity?

Since all this claptrap is is as likely as winning the lottery, Why not "plan" on reductions of not 50% but 100, or 1000, or 10,000 or 10000,000% ?

Not worth the hot air and waste paper to consider this nonsense... It must be a product of impossibilist Socialist theorizing. Those people don't believe a thing they say, so it wouldn't be hard...

Lakewood90712

IIRC , Canada signed on to the Kyoto agreement , and not only missed the planned reduction , CO2 release is HIGHER NOW! Can't blame Toronto for all of canada , but this look's like the same old song.

allen_xl_Z

Negative remarks above notwithstanding, here's three ways to achieve this goal:
1) Massive investment in geothermal heating/cooling systems for home/places of work. This includes greatly expanding the current network of pipes, intakes, heat exchangers, and pumping stations that bring in water from the frigid depths of Lake Ontario, for cooling and drinking purposes.
2) Highly insulated new structures (homes/businesses), with solar energy systems (mostly for the warmer 8 months of the year) built in. Retrofit older structures. Expandable insulation foam shot into the gaps between the interior and exterior walls, energy audits, and ventilation heat exchangers are a few examples to reduce/ensure lower energy use. Rebates, from the utilities and govt., could help speed this along.
3) Have the citizens presort their garbage. Gasify the biomass garbage. Use the Syngas for electric generation. Put the waste heat to work for heating, cooling, commercial purposes and hot water. The electricity could go towards PHEV/EV, including mass transit buses, and delivery/service vehicles.
_
___Its not going to be cheap, but it is feasible over a 30-50 year timeframe.

Engineer-Poet

This is the take-home point:

The largest source of greenhouse gases in Toronto is natural gas to heat homes and other buildings, most of which were not designed with conservation in mind.
We need both better designs and good ways to re-design.

Andrey

Most of us would benefit from loosing 5-10 lb of our weight. Same with US and Canadian use of energy and fuel. Aiming to lose 30% of body weight means dystrophy, 80% - certain death. Pity that Toronto officials decided that playing this idiocy will increase their popularity rating.

tom

Energy expert Amory Lovins has a house/office in Aspen, Colorado that uses virtually no fossil energy at an altitude of 8500 feet. And this was built with the technology that existed over 20 years ago. We can't expect to turn around the housing stock in just a few years ago to reach comparable levels of efficiency, but the Toronto goal is talking about 43 years.

But along with E-P, I agree that the real challenge will be redesign that goes beyond adding insulation, solar water heating, and solar electricity. Therefore, the "plan" needs to get pretty specific with respect to how we meaningfully retrofit existing houses. That is going to require a lot of technical ingenuity and tons of money.

The devil is in the details. And,yes, if this is just a generalized plan without doable strategies to actually reach these goals, then Andrey is correct; it is just idiocy.

Houston

Please lookup world temp from 1947-1975 during the (post war economic boom).
CO2 levels follow the world temp not the other way around.

marcus

Well, the more politicians that compete in this game the better. If one politician doesn't have a credible plan for following through then he/she should be outcompeted by a politician that does. Therefore I welcome this announcement, as I would hope most people concerned with CO2 would.

Engineer-Poet

Houston, world temps also follow atmospheric sulfate levels.  Look at the sags after large volcanic eruptions.

In the 1945-1970 timeframe, we burned a lot of coal without scrubbers.  The sulfur went into the air, making both acid rain and reducing temperatures.  Today we're doing a lot less of both.

Bill Young

Allen is on the right track although geothermal does not have to be centralized.

A provincial subsidy or rebate program to add on a ground coupled heat pump to the gas furnace so that the gas functions as backup to electric heat would go a long way to achieving the goal if the electricity is generated by a non CO2 emitting source.

This would be expensive. I recently priced a ground coupled heat pump to replace a worn out oil furnace and the cost was about $10k US. I ended up having to go with an air coupled heat pump for a third of that. Air coupled heat pumps probably would not be a good idea in Canada.

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