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Government of Canada announces Low Carbon Economy Challenge Fund

On Wednesday, March 14th, Sussex Strategy Group sent us the following informational brief:

This morning, at the GLOBE Forum in Vancouver, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, launched the $500 million Low Carbon Economy Challenge. The Challenge is the second part of the broader Low Carbon Economy Fund, which was announced in June 2017; the first part was the $1.4 billion Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, which provided funds directly to provinces and territories that have adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change.

Per the announcement's details, the Low Carbon Economy Challenge will have two streams aimed at supporting projects that will reduce greenhouse gases:

  • Champions: Valued at over $450 million, the Champions stream is open to applicants of any size. Eligible applicants include all provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. This stream is open for applications now with a deadline of May 14, 2018.
  • Partnerships: Valued at $50 million, the Partnerships stream is limited to Indigenous communities and organizations, small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small municipalities. The Partnerships stream will help ensure a broad range of Canadians are able to participate in the Challenge. This stream will be open later in 2018.

The main consideration will be the project's ability to reduce emissions in a cost-effective manner, but will also factor in potential for energy savings and job creation.

Potential applicants are to submit an Expression of Interest to ECCC online.

Other key details:

  • The minimum contribution to any project through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge is $1 million; the maximum individual contribution for the Champions stream is $50 million, and $10 million for the Partnerships stream.
  • Final decisions on funding proposals will be made in late 2018/early 2019, and spending must be done by March 21, 2022.
  • The project must be incremental to any existing or already planned projects; that is, applicants will need to demonstrate they had not already made a decision to implement the project and it cannot go forward without the funding.
  • List of eligible sectors
    • Building energy efficiency and fuel switching
      • Residential and commercial retrofits, including fuel switching
      • Social housing retrofits, including fuel switching
      • Municipal building retrofits, including fuel switching
      • Government buildings retrofits, including fuel switching
      • Universities/Schools/Hospitals (USH) retrofits, including fuel switching
    • Industrial
      • Energy efficiency
      • Fuel switching
      • Process changes
    • Forestry 
      • Enhancing carbon sinks in the forestry sector (e.g., afforestation, reforestation, changes to forest management)
      • Reducing GHG emissions in the forestry sector
    • Agriculture
      • Enhancing carbon sinks in the agriculture sector
      • Reducing GHG emissions in the agriculture sector
    • Waste
      • Methane capture
      • Organics diversion
    • Transportation
      • Heavy-Duty Vehicle (HDV) retrofits, including energy efficiency and/or fuel switching
      • Marine vehicle retrofits, including energy efficiency and/or fuel switching
      • Rail retrofits, including energy efficiency and/or fuel switching
    • Low-emissions fuel production
      • Renewable natural gas production for own-use
      • Liquid renewable fuel production for own-use
      • Other low-carbon fuel production for own-use
    • Electricity and/or energy production
      • District heating systems
      • Combined heat and power for own use
      • Renewable energy systems (e.g., solar photovoltaic (PV), solar hot water systems, wind, micro-hydro) for own-use

Should you have any questions regarding this update, contact Cynthia Waters by email or phone 519-822-2042 x4.