The urgency of the climate crisis looms larger with each passing year, fueled by escalating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the relentless march of global warming. Recent data places 2021 among the seven warmest years on record, exacerbating shifts in weather patterns and ecological disruptions that imperil both human civilization and the broader web of life on Earth.

The Impact Accelerates

The consequences of global warming are unfolding at a pace that surpasses earlier projections. In Canada, the rate of warming has doubled the global average, triggering a surge in catastrophic weather events. Between 2010 and 2019 alone, insured losses from such disasters exceeded $18 billion.

A report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices paints a stark picture: the costs of weather-related catastrophes have skyrocketed from an average of $8.3 million per event in the 1970s to a staggering $112 million per event in the last decade—a 1,250 percent increase.

Toronto’s Tale of Weather Woes Toronto, like many urban centers worldwide, bears witness to the escalating toll of extreme weather events. From prolonged heatwaves to intensified storms, the city grapples with flooding, power disruptions, and extensive damage to its infrastructure and natural landscapes.

Consider the numbers from Toronto’s 2020 financial report, which spotlight the mounting costs of weather-related calamities:

  • August 19, 2005: Rainstorm – $44 million
  • July 8, 2013: Rainstorm – $65 million
  • December 2013: Ice Storm – $101 million
  • 2017 High Lake Effect & 2018 Windstorm – $28 million

Toronto’s Ambitious Roadmap: Net Zero by 2040

In response to the climate emergency declared in 2019, the Toronto City Council took decisive action in 2021 by embracing the TransformTO Net Zero Climate Action Strategy. This bold plan sets a target of achieving net-zero community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2040—ten years ahead of the original schedule. Toronto’s commitment stands as a beacon of ambition in North America’s climate landscape.

Join the Movement

As Toronto races to meet its ambitious targets, the city is actively greening its operations and extending support and financial assistance to residents eager to contribute to the net-zero mission. Discover how you can play your part in shaping a greener, more sustainable Toronto by exploring our resources and initiatives.