City of Toronto Announces 2040 Net Zero Target in TransformTo Update

The City of Toronto Council has adopted an ambitious strategy to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Toronto to net-zero by 2040 - 10 years earlier than initially proposed. The City of Toronto is one of only three big cities in North America with this 2040 target.

The Net Zero Strategy triggers new and accelerated implementation actions to drive down community-wide emissions, particularly in the short term, and establishes the trajectory needed to reach net-zero by 2040. The Strategy also sets an additional interim GHG emissions reduction target for Toronto: 45 percent by 2025, from 1990 levels.

With the adoption of the Net Zero Strategy, the City's GHG reduction targets, from 1990 levels, are:

  • 30 percent by 2020
  • 45 percent by 2025
  • 65 percent by 2030
  • Net-zero by 2040

Meeting the City's future GHG reduction targets requires rapid action to scale up existing programs, additional authorities for the City to implement effectively, and significant levels of investment and coordination with other levels of government.

The Strategy identifies actions and targets to be achieved by 2030 in key sectors, including buildings, transportation and waste. Toronto's community-wide emissions must be cut in half in the next 10 years to meet the 2030 target of a 65 percent emissions reduction.

To reach its targets, the City will use its influence to regulate, advocate and facilitate transformation in five key areas including:

  • Accelerate a rapid and significant reduction in natural gas use
  • Establish performance targets for existing buildings across Toronto
  • Increase local renewable energy to contribute to a resilient, carbon-free grid.

The City found that the primary sources of GHG emissions in Toronto are homes and buildings (57 per cent), mainly from burning natural gas to heat space and water. To help reduction efforts the City will add resources to key programs, policies, and strategies already in place to reduce emissions from key sources.

The Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy is a strategy that will significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels in all existing residential, commercial and institutional buildings within the next 30 years. The strategy will see the City implement voluntary performance measures and targets initially, intending to begin the transition to mandatory requirements in 2025. Additionally, the Net Zero Carbon Plan to reduce emissions from more than 2,500 City-owned buildings (approximately 9.5 million square metres) by at least 80 per cent by 2040.

Further, an updated (Version 4) Toronto Green Standard (TGS) continues to raise the bar to all but eliminate the use of natural gas in new buildings. For more than 10 years, the TGS has helped transform the market, resulting in 169,000 tonnes of avoided carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Lastly, the update has included information on the BetterHomesTO and the Home Energy Loan Programs which provide resources and support for homeowners, including low-interest loans for home energy retrofits.

For more information, contact Chelsea Goberdhan at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 236, or email

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