Last week TAF was pleased to use the occasion of our 2015 Dan Leckie Forum to introduce a brand new program to the community. Transformation Toronto 2050 aims to use long-range greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction modelling to shed light on how Toronto can reach its target of 80% carbon reduction by the year 2050. But more than this, the initiative will bring together data and partners from multiple sectors to see how deep carbon reduction scenarios affect the broader health and success of the city.
Initiated by Toronto Atmospheric Fund and the City of Toronto’s Environment and Energy Division, Transformation Toronto 2050 will model future scenarios to help understand which key actions will bring significant local carbon reductions in Toronto. Other cities undertaking this work, like Seattle, New York City and Portland are finding out how to focus their activities to get at the key opportunities, including creating zero-energy use buildings and shifting people away from single occupancy vehicle use, as well as reducing waste to zero and adding more renewable energy to the electricity grid. The intent is then to examine how these actions affect future public health, local mobility, the economy and the social development of the city, in an effort to identify synergies between carbon reduction policies and other key city objectives.
The 2015 Dan Leckie Forum featured WhatIf? Technologies’ Marcus Williams and the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Charles Heaps relating lessons learned from their practical experience in supporting long-range modelling for cities. The session attracted a group of 25 invited community stakeholder representatives who provided advice on how the long-range GHG modelling could be undertaken, and how the resulting information could be integrated with data from other sectors. The group also commented on a broader list of community stakeholders with a possible interest in this work, and the best ways to engage them.
There was strong interest in ensuring that the program is designed to provide business cases for GHG reductions options, and to draw clear links between GHG reduction and other top-of-mind public issues such as jobs and the widening gap between rich and poor. The group also advised that integration with existing related work be a key goal, including review of future scenario models being used in local academic and business circles, as well as work being undertaken by other cities in Canada and beyond. Others recommended that the data sets that are developed be made available to students and other groups who could use it to do analysis, generate new ideas and promote local solutions.
For more information the Forum and to see all the recommendations it generated, please see here. For more information on Transformation Toronto 2050, contact: