Toronto declares a 'climate emergency'

Oct 4, 2019

The city of Toronto has voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency. The city joins 800 other communities around the world that have made similar declarations.

The motion that passed city council also endorsed a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target.

The declaration comes after about 15,000 people took to the streets of Toronto a week ago for a climate change rally.   People called on world leaders to take action on climate change.

Toronto’s move was made for the purpose of naming, framing and deepening its commitment to protecting the city’s economy, eco-systems and people from climate change.

“We should be redoubling our own efforts to make sure that we make whatever contribution we can to actually dealing with it here," said Toronto Mayor John Tory, "and there are lots of reasons to do that including fixing the environment, but also saving a lot of money and saving a lot of energy. But also that we should set an example.”

Tory said other commitments in the declaration include investing in retrofitting buildings and transportation, and looking at ways to fund climate actions in the municipal budget.

The declaration summary says without a strategy people and businesses will spend billions of dollars rebuilding their homes, businesses and city infrastructure damaged by floods, storms, heat waves and flash freezes.