Feds Killing Kyoto Means City Action on Climate Change More Important Than Ever

For Immediate Release                                               
December 13, 2011

Toronto: With the news that the Federal Government has pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, a local environmental group called on City Hall to work even harder to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and cancel planned cuts to climate change initiatives.

“More than ever, we need City Hall working hard to tackle climate change,” said Dr. Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA). “That’s why Councillors cannot support the Mayor’s budget to cut funding to important climate change programs at City Hall.”

Hartmann noted that the proposed city budget, to be voted on by City Council in mid January, recommends cuts to initiatives that would help promote energy conservation, green power production, prepare the city for climate change and educate Torontonians about climate change. Most of these programs are run by the Toronto Environment Office (TEO) which is slated to have its budget cut by millions of dollars for 2012.

“We can’t afford to have City Hall follow the Harper Government as it sticks its head in the sand about climate change” said Hartmann. “If Councillors cut budgets to City environment programs, Torontonians will be even more vulnerable to the dramatic environmental and economic effects of climate change."

“Anyone who thinks city taxpayers will save money by cutting climate change programs at City Hall, isn't looking at the big picture" said Hartmann. “Report after report shows the cost of inaction is huge: property damage from severe weather events, higher insurance premiums, and costly replacement of damaged infrastructure not prepared for climate change will be our future. This will mean dramatically higher property taxes, to say nothing of all the environmental damage we will have to deal with.”

“Instead of cuts to climate change budgets, we need new investments now,” concluded Hartmann.

For More Information, contact:
Franz Hartmann, PhD, Executive Director, Toronto Environmental Alliance: 416-596-0660