TORONTO, December 13, 2021 — The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) today published the sources and amounts of carbon emissions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). This year’s regional inventory includes two years of data (2019 and 2020) and provides the first look at emissions since the global pandemic.
Carbon emissions actually rose 2% between 2015 and 2019. While 2% may sound like a relatively harmless increase, it is the wrong direction. Sustained annual reductions of at least 7% are needed to achieve net zero by 2050, a goal adopted by the Government of Canada and many GTHA cities and regions. Emissions fell in 2020, but only due to the unprecedented – and temporary – impact of the pandemic on transportation demand and industrial output.
“What’s needed is a massive acceleration in climate action and investment that engages government, businesses, utilities, citizens, and the community at an unprecedented scale,” says Bryan Purcell, VP of Policy and Programs. “We need to break through the inertia that is paralyzing the region’s climate emergency response.”
This carbon emissions inventory also outlines some of the most current and effective climate policies and programs in play across the GTHA. Municipalities across the region are updating their strategies towards a vision of vibrant, prosperous, net zero communities, and these actions will help realize that goal.
- This one-of-a-kind comprehensive inventory uses consistent methodology, data sources, and time frames across all six GTHA municipalities from 2015-2020 to create a regional picture of the sources and amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Emissions (2020) come from: buildings (45%), transportation (35%), industry (19%) waste (4%), and agriculture (1%).
- The pandemic response drove a historic 13% reduction, primarily in transportation demand (21%) and industrial output between 2019 and 2020; preliminary data indicate emissions will bounce back in 2021.
- A 50% increase in active transportation in the GTHA is a positive social outcome that can be sustained.
- The report features local data for each of the six GTHA cities and regions and recommendations for policymakers at all levels of government.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Carbon Emissions Inventory for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 2019-2020 reports on the major sources of emissions across the region starting in 2015: buildings, transportation, industry, waste, and agriculture. The inventory generally follows the guidelines established in the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions, covering Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Inventory data in the region is available after a one-year delay.
About The Atmospheric Fund
The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) is a regional climate agency that invests in low-carbon solutions for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and helps scale them up for broad implementation. We are experienced leaders and collaborate with stakeholders in the private, public and non-profit sectors who have ideas and opportunities for reducing carbon emissions. Supported by endowment funds, we advance the most promising concepts by investing, providing grants, influencing policies and running programs. We’re particularly interested in ideas that offer benefits in addition to carbon reduction such as improving people’s health, creating local jobs, boosting urban resiliency, and contributing to a fair society.
Photo credit: Harry Choi Photography
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