Action 2030 Learning Series, November 5


The need to curb carbon emissions is becoming increasingly urgent. Rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes are needed in order to reach the 2030 targets set by the Paris Agreement. As part of it's Action 2030 Learning Series, the Toronto 2030 District is highlighting the work of changemakers that are working to accelerate progress towards a low carbon future.

On November 5, join us for a free event with New York City’s Russell Unger and Chris Halfnight who will speak about the recently adopted building emissions law in NYC, one of the most ambitious pieces of climate legislation enacted by any city in the world. Aderonke Akande, Manager of the City of Toronto's Tower and Neighbourhood Revitalization Unit, will bring a local lens on what the City is doing to incentivize energy retrofits and renewal technologies. And YMCA Vice President, Alex Versluis, will highlight what one of Toronto’s largest non-profits is doing to address sustainability across their portfolio of over 440 buildings.



Russell Unger, Consultant and former Executive Director at Urban Green, New York City

Russell is a recognized authority who has shaped the sustainability conversation in New York City for 15 years. He leads his own consulting practice, currently focused on helping New York State to advance energy efficiency in multifamily buildings. As Urban Green’s founding Executive Director (2007-2017), he has built the organization from an all-volunteer group to a national leader in green building policy, research, and education.

Chris Halfnight, Associate Director, Policy at Urban Green, New York City

Chris leads Urban Green’s policy initiatives, working with stakeholders and policymakers to advance energy efficiency and green building in New York City and State. Prior to Urban Green, Chris was an attorney at Shearman & Sterling LLP and worked on energy policy at the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Natural Resources Defense Council. He was also the Vice-Chair of the 80x50 Buildings Partnership.

Aderonke Akande, Manager, Tower and Neighbourhood Revitalization Unit, City of Toronto

Aderonke Akande is the Manager of the City of Toronto's Tower and Neighbourhood Revitalization Unit which leads the City's Neighbourhood Revitalization and Tower Renewal programs. Tower Renewal focuses on improving the City's older apartment buildings and the neighbourhoods that surround them. Aderonke has been instrumental in leading the design and implementation of Hi-RIS, a $10 million financing program designed to support energy retrofits and renewable energy technologies in apartment buildings.

Alex Versluis, Senior Vice President, Property Management at the YMCA Greater Toronto

Driving the YMCA’s Climate Resiliency Strategy, Alex works with local communities and all levels of government to seek partnerships to strengthen community resiliency using the YMCA’s Centres of Community as part of the regional solution to chronic stress and acute shocks to help improve community well-being. He also leads the physical plant of all YMCA locations and the design and construction of new developments.

Facilitated by Mary W. Rowe, President & CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute

Mary is a leading urban advocate and civil society leader who has worked in cities across Canada and the United States. She has several years of experience as an urban advocate and community leader, including serving as Executive Vice President of the Municipal Art Society of New York (MASNYC), one of America’s oldest civic advocacy organizations focused on the built environment. Mary has also been a frequent contributor to national and international city-building programs, including UN Habitat and the World Urban Forum. 


Event Date: 
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Event Location: 
Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place Toronto, ON M5S 3K7