"When Toronto City Council established the Toronto Atmospheric Fund in 1991, it was the first municipal agency of its kind in the world," said Mayor John Tory. “We are a world leader when it comes to building a sustainable city, and I’m so proud of the hard work and foresight that earned Toronto this important global recognition.”
Inspired by an international climate conference held in Toronto in 1988, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund embodies the idea that cities have a critical role in addressing the global climate crisis.
TAF's track record of fostering innovative urban climate solutions has helped Toronto achieve a city-wide 25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, based on 1990 levels. Over its 25 years, TAF funds have supported innovative local initiatives such as the creation of the world's largest lake-fed deep water cooling system, the creation of Autoshare, conversion of all traffic signal lights to LED and the installation of the first wind turbine in a Canadian urban centre.
More recently, over the past four years TAF has created and tested a new approach to financing energy retrofits in large buildings, launching it via a new private company, Efficiency Capital Corp., which is poised to scale up to a $100-million enterprise within five years. TAF has also funded a collective initiative called Move the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area consisting of 12 diverse civic groups that are striving to leverage provincial support for local transit.
This year, the C40 received more than 200 applications from 94 cities. Johannesburg and London were also named as finalists along with Toronto in the Finance and Economic Development category.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Paris, France on December 3, during the COP21 climate negotiations.
More information about Toronto's finalist profile is available at http://www.c40.org/awards/3/profiles/58.