|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.
Change is in the Air (Framework for Public Review and Engagement)