Council Watch - 5 things to prepare Toronto for climate change

Monday’s extreme weather was a record-breaker for Toronto and a stark reminder of what climate change will bring to Toronto on a regular basis.

As Franz Hartmann, TEA’s Executive Director, noted in a media release on Wednesday, “Monday’s storm was bad. But climate change will bring worse storms and much higher temperatures....our water, electricity, and transportation infrastructures are not ready.”

5 Actions to Prepare Toronto for Climate Change

To help prepare Toronto for climate change, TEA is sharing a short list of 5 actions you can take today!

1. Keep rainwater out of your home and sewers. Disconnect your downspouts from city sewers, replace hard surfaces with absorbent, green ones, and protect yourself against basement flooding. Get inspired by the Paradise Unpaved story, written by TEA member and local artist Franke James!

2. Reduce your electricity use. Our city’s electricity system is old and needs major upgrading. We need to build a more resilient electricty grid, and we also need to reduce our electricity demand, especially during peak hours. Turn off electronic devices when not in use and support green energy projects. Learn about TEA's Smog and Climate Change campaign.

3. Promote green infrastructure. Trees and plants -- both in Toronto and around it -- are key to absorbing water and cooling us down during hot days. Tell your MPP and City Councillors to invest in green infrastructure, protect the Greenbelt and increase Torontos' tree canopy.

4. Keep your car at home; use public transit, walk or cycle. Climate change happens when we burn fossil fuels. Cars and light trucks are responsible for 37% of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions. By driving less, we reduce how bad climate change will be and we improve local air quality!

5. Tell your City Councillor to stop cutting Toronto'sclimate change budget. City staff developed a plan in 2008 called Ahead of the Storm. Unfortunately, staff and program cuts have slowed down staff efforts to get Toronto ready.

Line 9 pipeline update

Enbridge is proposing to ship tar sands oil through a pipeline crossing Toronto. In February, City Council asked for more information about the health and environmental impacts.

Enbridge refused to answer many of the City's tough questions (e.g. about past oil spills on p6).

Line 9 crosses Toronto, mostly along Finch Avenue

It’s time the Province and Federal Governments demanded a full environmental assessment of Enbridge's proposal to protect our environment and our health.

Click here to send a letter to the Ontario and Federal Ministers of Environment.

25 years of TEA

Since 50% of Toronto households are in apartments, TEA created: Saving Energy, The 6-Step Guide for Tenant Action, published in July 2008.

The Guide outlines key steps to mobilize your community, take action to conserve energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.