Statement from TEA’s Executive Director Emmay Mah on Mayor Tory’s Motion to Declare a Climate Emergency 

For immediate release: September 26, 2019

TORONTO: Today, Mayor John Tory released the details of a motion for the City of Toronto to formally declare a climate emergency. The motion, seconded by City Councillor Mike Layton, reflects many of the recommendations put forward by civil society organizations and would commit City Council to action in this term.

On the same day that Mayor Tory first announced he would bring a climate emergency declaration to the October 2nd City Council meeting, the Toronto Environmental Alliance and 46 civil society organizations released an open call to the Mayor and Council to declare a climate emergency and commit to accelerated climate action. The call included 20 recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring social and economic benefits to communities through climate action. 

The motion released today demonstrates the level of commitment we expect from Council in response to the unprecedented challenge that climate change poses to our City and the global community. City Council has a responsibility to get Toronto on track to become a net zero city by taking concrete action this Council term. This is a historic opportunity to reduce harmful emissions, while also improving social equity and prosperity in our City.

By voting “yes” to this motion on October 2nd, City Councillors can demonstrate that they have heard the voices of the many Torontonians, including youth, who are calling for an equitable, climate-safe future for all. 

If the motion passes, it will commit the City to: 

  • Endorse a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target and look at ways to achieve this target by 2040
  • Explore financing mechanisms to adequately fund climate action in the 2021 budget cycle
  • Meaningfully consult and cooperate with Indigenous communities on the development and implementation of the TransformTO climate action plan
  • Apply the City's Equity Lens to TransformTO decision-making in order to ensure that strategies include and benefit equity-seeking groups 
  • Collaborate with youth to increase their participation in the development and implementation of TransformTO
  • Apply a climate lens to evaluate the climate impacts of major City decisions including financial decisions
  • Create a low-carbon jobs strategy that supports a decent work agenda and expands green industry sectors
  • Initiate a plan to become a green investment City and exclude fossil fuels from City investments


For more information or to arrange an interview, contact: 

Jolene Cushman, Communications Officer, Toronto Environmental Alliance 

416-596-0660 l [email protected]