Toronto Mayor John Tory will release his ideas for climate change initiatives Tuesday evening with focus on improving air quality, boosting green businesses and speeding up a target to become carbon neutral.
Mr. Tory will put forward his ideas at the second Climate Change Strategies Summit, where he will present what he calls his “climate agenda,” while also speaking at a climate change symposium.
According to Mr. Tory’s office, staff recommendations will include a rebate program for electric vehicles and possible electrification of highways to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
Councillor Michael Thompson, chair of Toronto’s Environmental Services Committee, which is holding the summit, said that if council moved forward on recommendations from the police and the health ministry, electric vehicles would be able to make their way to ridership numbers that match fossil-fuel-powered cars.
The global average for gas, diesel and diesel-fuelled vehicles was 60.1 percent in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency, compared to zero percent for electric vehicles.
“It is urgent that we incentivize people to replace their old fleets with new, cleaner vehicles,” Mr. Thompson said. “Zero-emission vehicles are helping to reduce global carbon emissions by tens of millions of tons per year.”
This fall, Mr. Tory launched a pilot program to help both taxi drivers and electric vehicle owners park in city garages for free until January 2019. The move was expected to improve air quality and added tax revenue.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, electric vehicles contributed to a drop in emissions by 13 percent in 2017 in the U.S. and by 15 percent in 2018.