TORONTO – Toronto politicians have unanimously backed measures to make the city fleet more environmentally friendly and to make it easier for residents and businesses to use renewable energy like solar and wind power, according to Toronto Star.

Over four years, Toronto hopes to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 15,000 tons and save $2 million through the second phase of its Green Fleet plan, which will boost the number of fuel-efficient city vehicles, reduce their average size, and explore innovative technology.

Plan objectives include improving driving practices of city employees, such as discouraging excessive idling, and helping agencies such as the TTC, police, and ambulance prepare their own green fleet plans.

In the city’s 4,700-vehicle fleet, 283 vehicles are now low-emission, including 24 hybrids and 141 that run on natural gas. Some 80 vehicles are to be replaced by “green” models this year, 100 next year, 140 in 2010, and 200 in 2011.

One measure calls for pilot-testing lower-emission trucks and targeting those that idle excessively, such as delivery and garbage trucks.