Pearson told about 150 people at City Hall that immigrants will be flocking here to stay with family or friends as other parts of the world face flooding or soaring temperatures.
"Toronto will be seeing more environmental refugees," he said. "The problem is getting urgent. We just can't put our heads in the sand," Pearson, a Laurentian University professor, said.
Toronto Public Health Dr. Monica Campbell said climate change is a global issue that touches everyone. "The temperatures in Toronto have been rising for 150 years," Campbell said. "There will be more illnesses and disease when things get warmer."
Councillor and committee chairman Paula Fletcher said the recommendations will be used to help city officials develop a climate change, clean air and sustainable energy action plan. "We, as a city, need to plan and adapt for climate change," Fletcher said.