Ontario will be investing up to $100 million in local projects that aim to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by launching a new program for municipalities across the province. The Municipal GHG Challenge Fund is part of the province’s Climate Change Action Plan and is funded by proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market.
The initiative will support projects such as renewable energy and energy efficiency retrofits to municipal facilities and making energy efficiency upgrades to drinking water or wastewater treatment plants, in an effort to achieve long-term and cost-effective pollution reductions.
The province is inviting municipalities to submit applications for the fund by Nov. 14, 2017. Selected projects will be announced in 2018. Any Ontario municipality with a community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory, emissions reduction targets and a strategy to reduce emissions is eligible to apply. Each municipality may request up to $10 million per project.
Municipalities with a population of less than 10,000 that do not have a community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory, reduction targets and a plan, can apply for the Very Small Municipalities Stream using the same application. The province will be hosting webinars on the Municipal GHG Challenge Fund in September to help applicants better understand the program and its requirements.
“Our government is investing proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market to support innovative community-led action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Chris Ballard, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, in a press release. “Municipalities play a key role in helping Ontario fight climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy and the Municipal GHG Challenge Fund will help support their efforts.”