The Greater Toronto Area Clean Air Council promotes the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and increased awareness of regional air quality and climate change issues in the Greater Toronto Area through the collective efforts of all levels of government. The Council identifies and promotes the most effective initiatives to reduce the occurrence of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The goals of the GTA-CAC are:
- To enable solutions to air quality and climate change challenges through a dynamic network that expands knowledge and enthusiasm, and encourages practical and successful policies and actions;
- To promote a better understanding of air quality and climate change problems and their implications for public health among policy makers and to improve their ability to address these problems in an economically effective way;
- To explore opportunities for joint initiatives to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; and
- To liaise with municipalities in the GTA and across Canada, organizations with compatible mandates and communities within the region to share best practices for reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
GTA-CAC Progress Reports
The Clean Air Council undertakes annual reports to monitor and transfer the clean air and climate change actions being undertaken across the Region. Highlights of priority actions are provided below.
Clean Air Council Five Year Plan (2010 - 2015)
- Develop and promote a Resilient Region vision;
- Identify and maximize synergies between clean air, health and climate change actions and improvements in community livability and resilience;
- Identify financing and business case opportunities to move actions from pilot stage to business as usual and contribute to the building of the emerging green economy;
- Share lessons learned on the implementation of actions and report on the uptake/transfer/consistency of those actions across the region; and
- Identify new opportunities being undertaken elsewhere and applicable/supportive of movement towards the Resilient Region vision in the GTA and Southern Ontario.
The GTA Clean Air Council invites orders of government in the GTA, including federal and provincial departments and ministries and all 29 municipal organizations, and explores opportunities to partner with other governments, community groups and the private sector.
Participation of the municipal level (local and regional governments) may be from a variety of departments including: environmental coordination, health, fleets, transportation and works, economic development, engineering, etc.
Benefits of Participation
For GTA local, regional, provincial and federal government members, benefits of involvement in the GTA-CAC include:
- An opportunity to learn from experienced participants with a 'can do' approach to smog reduction.
- Contribution to a much needed local voice on the benefits of addressing air pollution issues proactively.
- Access to strategically timed meetings, workshops and conferences, exploring the most innovative and forward-looking approaches to air quality issues. Attended by the key individuals from participating bodies, these meetings include presentations about new projects, developments, and initiatives as well as discussion of challenges and opportunities.
- Access to reports and policy papers on issues of interest, and opportunities to provide input on terms of reference and the direction of research and policy development work.
- Access to a wider range of policy approaches, together with a forum to "reality test" these approaches.
- A mechanism for identifying sources of funding for projects.
- Dialogue with other levels of government about policy objectives and the opportunity to develop a better appreciation of both the strengths and the jurisdictional limits of respective government roles in the field of air quality improvements.
- Access to an enhanced program of air quality research through the leveraging of research funds and the opportunity for collaborative research efforts.
- Opportunities to participate in air quality campaigns underway throughout the GTA, with assistance for coordination.
- Full members have an opportunity to contribute to the creation of the Inter-governmental Declaration on Clean Air.
- Full members also have an opportunity to have elected officials participate in the annual Smog Summit, a major media and public event, to highlight achievements and new initiatives.
Coordination and Support
Clean Air Partnership (CAP), a non-profit, registered charity provides secretariat services to the GTA-CAC and is responsible for the administration that supports the Council. CAP is responsible for activating and coordinating the GTA-CAC, and facilitates the planning and implementation of the GTA-CAC's work program including: developing new announcements and Declarations, organizing annual Smog Summits, publishing Smog Summit proceedings, conducting fundraising, and conducting research.