Ottawa to provide $2 billion over five years for low carbon economy fund

Image: Province of Alberta

The Canadian federal government will establish a Low Carbon Economy Fund, which will provide $2 billion over the next five years to reduce greenhouse gases and generate clean growth, Catherine McKenna, environment and climate change minister, announced Thursday.

The fund is an important part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which reaffirmed the importance of collaboration between the federal government and the provinces and territories in addressing climate change, said the government. The fund will help provinces and territories build on the leadership they have shown to date and deliver on their commitment to reduce climate changing emissions.

The fund consists of two parts: the $1.4 billion Low Carbon Economy Leadership fund and the $600 million Low Carbon Economy Challenge.

Under the leadership fund, money will be available to support the leadership commitments territories that provinces and territories outlined in the framework, enabling those that have adopted it to build on the leadership they have shown to date.

Over the summer of 2017, the government of Canada will engage provinces and territories on their proposed projects. After project approval, bilateral funding agreements will be put in place so that projects can begin in the fall and winter.

The remaining $600 million for the Low Carbon Economy Challenge will be available for the implementation of the framework and for projects submitted by municipalities, indigenous governments and organizations, businesses and both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in addition to those from the provinces and territories.

Projects that best reduce GHG emissions and generate clean growth will be considered for funding, said the government. Further details will be available when it formally launches the challenge in the fall of 2017.

The Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund and the Low Carbon Economy Challenge will reduce emissions through targeted projects such as:

  • Rebates for installing high performance equipment and incentives to retrofit homes and commercial buildings;
  • Projects improving energy efficiency for industries, supporting changes in their processes and helping them switch to lower carbon fuels; and,
  • Programs for reforestation, enhanced forest management, and utilizing dead wood after forest fires or insect infestations.