We were at the City Budget Committee meetings to speak up on climate action in the 2020 City Budget - the first budget since the City of Toronto declared a climate emergency and committed to accelerated action.
TEA’s Campaigns Director Heather Marshall spoke at the City Hall public deputation session on Monday morning. Read Heather's deputation or watch the clip below.
"TEA reviews the City Budget every year, but this one was different. It’s the first Budget of a new decade. And it’s also the first City budget since you passed a climate emergency declaration and committed to accelerate the work that needs to be done to reach ‘net zero’ by as early as 2040. It’s good to see new money in this budget for climate action ($5.9 Million new or enhanced funding) as well as an increase in the number of staff working on TransformTO and the climate emergency. But climate action spending in Toronto is still well below that of other cities, like our peers in Vancouver. We appear to be spending about $7 per resident compared to $80 in Vancouver. Why aren’t we spending more?
The climate crisis demands that we not only reduce our emissions fast, we must deeply invest in climate solutions that also meet urgent everyday community needs like housing, transportation, jobs and our
resilience to climate shocks and stressors."
TEA’s Climate Campaigner Michael delivered a public deputation in Scarborough, stressing the importance of monitoring and quantifying the emissions reductions. (Read Michael's deputation).
"However, to effectively address the climate emergency, we urge you to make three improvements to the proposed budget: ensure that it achieves sufficient quantified emission reductions; include additional actions to reduce buildings & transportation emissions; and ensure adequate funding for climate action.
First, as it stands, the budget fails to deliver adequate, quantified emission reductions. To meet its 2030 emission target, Toronto needs to reduce emissions by half a megaton per year. Yet the only quantified emissions reduction in this budget for 2020 is a 0.006 Mt reduction related to the Toronto Green Standard for new buildings. TEA urges you to continue to work with staff to ensure that the emission reductions achieved by this Budget in 2020 are adequate to keep Toronto on track to meet its 2030 emission reduction target."
Want to get involved in the City Budget? You can still send a written deputation to the Budget Committee. Read our previous blog post for more analysis and tips.