Top three priorities for all levels of government
Recommendations for policymakers
Effective, mandatory standards will ensure low-carbon growth, greater housing affordability, and healthier homes and communities.
Existing buildings offer the largest opportunity to reduce emissions in the region. To retrofit buildings at the scale and pace needed, municipalities should develop emissions performance standards modeled on policies in leading North American cities including New York City, Boston, and Vancouver.
Invest in public transportation and infrastructure to support walking and cycling. Municipal authority also positions municipal governments to directly impact zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption and see the benefits of improved air quality and quieter streets.
Priority actions include
Create favourable parking policies for EVs and implement mobility pricing for non-EVs.
Take advantage of funding from other levels of government, utilities, and TAF’s EV Station Fund to install public charging on city property, and remove regulatory barriers that can slow investment in charging.
Provide incentives and resources for retrofits in multi-family buildings and ensure new buildings are EV-ready through parking bylaws and/or green development standards.
Develop, or accelerate fleet decarbonization plans for municipal fleets and transit with a ZEV requirement for replacements.
Revise licensing and/or bylaws to require 100% of ride-hailing fleets to be zero-emission by 2030.
Adopt a moratorium on new natural gas generation and rapidly scale up investment in energy efficiency and conservation, renewables and storage, distributed energy resources, and transmission and distribution buildouts. Develop a plan to phase-out existing gas-fired generation except for emergency backup usage.
The Province and the Ontario Energy Board should direct Enbridge to ramp up demand side management programs to achieve all cost-effective natural gas conservation, as outlined in the joint IESO-OEB Conservation Achievable Potential Study.
Provide funding for public transportation and encourage all personal vehicles to become zero emissions by 2035 by providing rebates for new and used ZEVs and increasing investment in public EV charging.
Phase out fossil fuel-based electricity generation to enable broader decarbonization, key to reducing emissions from buildings and transportation. Strong regulations should be adopted and implemented to include a 2030 interim target, require high-quality carbon offsets for residual emissions, and full lifecycle analyses for the use of hydrogen.
Canada’s model building codes must be updated to include carbon emissions, including both operational and embodied carbon emissions, ensuring healthy, affordable homes for Canadians. In order to ensure progress towards net-zero emissions buildings the codes must also include EV-ready and solar-ready requirements.
A national ZEV mandate will require automakers to sell incrementally more ZEVs, with 100% ZEV sales by 2035. This would mean increased choice and supply of ZEVs for Canadians in line with standards in British Columbia and Quebec. The government should apply the national standard where provincial versions need strengthening or do not exist.
Retrofits are the most cost-effective way to drive down emissions in your facilities/operations. They also deliver other benefits including indoor air quality and comfort and show your corporate responsibility to customers and stakeholders. Incentives for energy conservation are available from utilities and through tax credits for installation of heat pumps and other energy-saving equipment.
Shifting your corporate fleet to electric vehicles (EVs) will dramatically reduce carbon emissions and will generate significant financial savings over the lifecycle of the vehicle; particularly in high-utilization drive cycles. With a wide range available in Canada now, finding an EV model that meets your specific needs has gotten easier, but get orders in early as supplies will be limited in Ontario until there is a percentage of sales requirement. Installing EV charging where your employees work will also help them switch to EVs and contribute to your company's wider climate action goals.
If you have an appropriate rooftop, install solar, ideally with storage, for your own behind-the-meter use. If not, it can be purchased from independent suppliers who generate or source it from verified renewable power generators. Self-generation and private power purchase agreements can reduce costs and also help alleviate the Ontario-wide and Toronto region electricity challenges.