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December 7, 2015

Mayor Tory returns from Paris with renewed commitment to tackling climate change
  
Mayor John Tory returned from Paris on Saturday, following the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 21). After meeting with other leaders from around the globe, Mayor Tory has renewed Toronto's commitment to fighting climate change.

"After many productive meetings in Paris, I believe that the best way to reduce greenhouse gases, and help the federal government reach its climate targets, is to focus on our city’s priority areas, which include reducing congestion and building transit,” said Mayor Tory. “The City of Toronto is committed to continuing to do its part, and we look forward to working with our federal and provincial partners to invest seriously in Toronto’s priority areas of housing and transit."

Traffic congestion negatively impacts the environment, economy, and quality of life. Emissions from road transportation are increasing and now make up over 40 per cent of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions – an important contributor to climate change. The City of Toronto has undertaken several initiatives to reduce dependency on cars and help combat traffic congestion, such as building more public transit, creating complete streets, and increasing the bikeway network.

In the new year, the Mayor will issue a challenge to local businesses to develop and implement options that will support their employees in modifying their daily commute and choosing low emission options.

"We will be calling on local businesses and organizations in Toronto to help reduce congestion," said Mayor Tory. "These employers can play a leading role in helping their staff choose alternative, lower-emission forms of transportation to get to and from work through incentives, policies, and infrastructure."

Currently, more than 300 employers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area have already joined the Smart Commute program, which provides support to businesses to make sustainable commuting a viable option for their staff.

The Mayor also discussed his commitment to ensuring the City of Toronto meets both its long term and short term environmental goals by:
• Converting all City facilities to energy efficient LED lights
• Encouraging waste diversion
• Ensure the City’s tree-planting targets are met or exceeded by developing a strategy to plant more trees on private land
• Building more carbon-neutral City buildings and retrofitting aging and inefficient City buildings.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.


Media Contact
Rosalynd Rupert
Strategic Communications
416-338-3379
rrupert@toronto.ca
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