Toronto, ON — Toronto City Council just approved the Toronto Green Standard Version 4 to regulate new building performance and the Net Zero Existing Building Strategy to accelerate building retrofits, putting the City on a solid path to a net zero future. The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) congratulates City staff and Council for demonstrating leadership in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and putting muscle behind its climate goals and climate emergency declaration.
Dozens of community members including TAF, building industry representatives, architects, climate activists, and youth groups showed support for both policies through letters and deputations to the planning and environment committees. TAF has worked with the City on all four versions of the Toronto Green Standard and the Existing Building Strategy, providing technical and policy expertise.
Highlights of the Toronto Green Standard Version 4:
- The Toronto Green Standard is one of the most critical and high-impact pathways to Toronto’s net-zero objectives. Version 4 is expected to reduce cumulative carbon emissions by nearly two megatonnes by 2050 and offers immediate health and economic benefits for Toronto residents.
- The Standard will also reduce transportation emissions by requiring electric vehicle charging and active transportation infrastructure in all new buildings.
- It is a leading standard in North America due to its streamlined approach, incentives for exceeding minimum requirements, and predictable roadmap for industry. Carbon intensity requirements provide a clear pathway to near-zero emissions buildings by 2030.
- The City of Toronto is leading by example by requiring all City-owned buildings to be designed to net zero emissions starting in 2022.
Learn more about Green Development Standards.
Highlights of the Existing Building Net Zero Strategy:
- The Existing Building Net Zero Strategy is centred on the development of mandatory emissions performance standards for buildings, which will be phased in beginning in 2025.
- The Strategy includes expanding energy benchmarking and disclosure requirements and development of building specific net-zero roadmaps, as well as measures to make building retrofits more accessible and affordable to Torontonians.
- Implementing this strategy will also be essential to public health and resilience in the face of a changing climate. Extreme heat is already causing an average of 120 premature deaths annually, and this number is expected to double by 2050 without strong action. Retrofit measures such as improving building envelopes and installing heat pumps greatly reduce exposure to extreme heat and will ensure Torontonians are safe during increasingly frequent and severe heat waves.
- Implementation of the Strategy is estimated to create a net increase of over 420 million person-hours of employment by 2050, equivalent to 7000 full time jobs for the next 30 years.
- The City of Toronto is leading by example with a plan to retrofit all City-owned buildings to net zero emissions by 2040.
“Buildings are Toronto’s largest source of carbon emissions. The City’s new Toronto Green Standard and the Net Zero Existing Building Strategy are critical tools for achieving Toronto’s climate targets and therefore key to a low carbon future. The devastating heat dome and fires on the west coast remind us just how urgently we need to act to prevent catastrophic global heating.” — Bryan Purcell, VP Policy and Programs, The Atmospheric Fund
“With temperature records shattered in Canada in recent weeks, it’s critical that we reduce community-wide emissions to net zero as soon as possible. While the challenges of transforming how we build, renovate and operate our homes and buildings are massive, so too will be the benefits in terms of our climate, our health, economy and resilience. We are committed to working with other orders of government to put in place the supports, standards, regulations and training required to enable this market transformation.” — Mayor John Tory
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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.
Julie Leach, Communications Manager
Jleach@taf.ca | 416-393-6382