Tax Breaks to Sustainable Farms Using Urban Rooftops

Tax Breaks to Sustainable Farms Using Urban Rooftops

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Marie Vervoort started this petition to Mayor Valerie Plante

Dear Mayor Valérie Plante (,

As you know, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report in the fall of 2018 (written by 200 authors from 40 countries) that warned us that we have until 2030 to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 45% globally in order to avert climate catastrophe. A large part of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions is due to food production. Many agri-food companies are doing their part in reducing their emissions and finding new ways to produce food. However, sustainable farming can be very costly compared to the industrial and polluting farming system already in place. Indeed, according to Montreal urban farming company Lufa Farm, a greenhouse on the roof of a building “costs two times as much as a ground-based greenhouse”. (

To encourage this new form of sustainable farming and ensure the continuation of the already established businesses, I ask the City of Montreal to give tax breaks to sustainable farms that use urban rooftops.

Some of the many benefits of urban farming for the city:

1. Reduces urban heat island (UHI)
By having greenhouses on Montreal rooftops, the urban heat island effect (high temperatures due to the lack of vegetation and the abundance of concrete) would diminish greatly. The UHI would simply be reduced through the completely natural cycle of plants.

2. Increases local fresh supply of food all year round
By using greenhouses, the food can be planted and harvested all year round at the same temperature. This would diminish our dependence on other countries, and uplift local businesses.

3. Reduces ecological footprint of food transportation
A significant part of the overall emissions caused by food are linked to the large supply chain. This includes the transportation, processing, packaging, and retail. By having the crops directly in the city where the buyers are, this reduces incredibly the length of the supply chain, and thus the ecological footprint linked to it.

4. Reduces deforestation in the world
Since the plants are on a roof, there is no need to destroy forests to create more space for crops. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation in the world. Forests all over the globe have been torn down and converted into agricultural fields, which emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but also destroys habitats and biodiversity.

By helping these local businesses and by providing them with tax breaks, you would not only make Montreal a greener city, but you would give a helping hand in brightening the future of Canada’s youth.

Marie Vervoort, student.

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