Statement from TEA’s Climate Campaigner on the 2020 City Budget and investments in climate action

February 19th, 2020

TEA welcomes Council motion to assess new commercial parking levy to fund emergency climate action but urges scaled-up action in City’s TransformTO 2021-2023 climate plan.

Today, Council passed its 2020 tax-funded Budget, the first budget since Council declared a climate emergency. The Toronto Environmental Alliance welcomes the additional staff and funding for climate action in this year’s budget, along with new investments in TCHC retrofits, public transit vehicles and upgrades, and the greening of the City’s fleet. However, bolder action is needed to put Toronto on track to meet its 2030 emission reduction target and to truly address the climate emergency that our city is facing. 

A key commitment in the City’s climate emergency declaration was to explore financial mechanisms to fund climate action in the lead up to the 2021 City Budget. Council took an important step forward today by directing staff to explore and report on a commercial parking levy to fund transit initiatives and climate action. A commercial parking levy received strong support recently by the TransformTO resident reference panel. 

To achieve net zero, Council will have to increase funding for climate action in coming budgets. We’ll be looking for new action commitments in the City’s 2021-2023 TransformTO climate plan that deliver emissions reductions on a much larger scale, especially in transportation and housing, which present opportunities to improve affordability and quality of life for Torontonians.  

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To arrange an interview, contact: 

Michael Polanyi 

Climate Campaigner, Toronto Environmental Alliance

Phone: 416-586-0660 (office); 416-712-6573 (cell)  

Email: michael@torontoenvironment.org