MEDIA RELEASE: Environmentalists watching as Toronto releases first Budget since declaring climate emergency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 9, 2020

TORONTO: With City Council set to launch its 2020 Budget on Friday, the Toronto Environmental Alliance is watching closely to see whether the City will deliver on its recent climate emergency declaration.

The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) was one over 60 Toronto organizations that issued a call to action for Council to declare a climate emergency and take stronger climate action. In October, Council unanimously passed the declaration, setting a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier, and committing to accelerated climate action.

“Hundreds of towns and cities - including Toronto - declared climate emergencies in 2019,” said Michael Polanyi, TEA’s Climate Campaigner. “Friday’s budget launch is a first indication of whether 2020 will be a year of emergency climate action.”

“A budget that addresses the climate emergency for Toronto must include significantly increased funding for key priorities that build a healthy and liveable city for all Torontonians,” said Polanyi. “Key budget priorities include low-carbon affordable housing, public transit and active transportation, and renewable energy.”

On Friday morning, TEA will be reviewing key budget lines for the rapid construction of low-carbon affordable housing, increased incentives for home energy retrofits, expanded renewable energy production, new bus priority zones and low-emission transit vehicles, protected bike lanes, and investments that create good green jobs here in Toronto.

“TEA supports Council's recent increase to the City Building Fund levy to invest more in affordable housing and transit infrastructure, and its commitment to consult on a new stormwater charge - or ‘flood fee’ - for commercial parking lots,” said Polanyi. “Toronto needs new funding sources to pay for urgent climate actions that both reduce emissions and benefit our communities.”

 

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Contact:
Michael Polanyi
Climate Campaigner, Toronto Environmental Alliance
email: michael@torontoenvironment.org phone: 416-712-6573 (cell) I 416-596-0660 (office)