Low-Carbon Cities Canada Update

The Ottawa Climate Action Fund is one of seven Low-Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) centres funded by an endowment from the Government of Canada.  LC3 is a partnership between the seven centres and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities working on accelerating urban climate solutions. Through our first year of operation, we’ve built up a strong working relationship with the centres in Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

The monthly highlights across the LC3 network show how quickly Canada’s major cities are seizing the opportunities in a rapid shift off carbon, while helping our communities prepare for the local impacts of climate change. Some recent highlights:

  • The Halifax Climate Investment, Innovation and Impact Fund (HCi3) launched its first community grants program centred around five challenge areas: deep energy retrofits, electric mobility, shared renewable energy, energy storage, and community-led ideas for climate action. Of the 26 expressions of interest the fund received, 17 went on to submit full funding proposals.
  • The Atmospheric Fund released a case study on heat pump retrofits with CityHousing Hamilton and a survey of electric vehicle charging in Toronto.
  • Alberta Ecotrust secured $300,000 for its Energy Poverty Reduction and Home Upgrades Program, moving ever closer to its $1.2-million target to fully fund the program.
  • The Greater Montreal Climate Fund finalized investments in two local decarbonization funds, Fondaction’s Circular Economy Fund and Windmill’s One Planet Living Fund. Both are aimed at scaling up low-carbon solutions across the metropolitan region.

OCAF was in the studio in May when CBC All in a Day went to the streets of Ottawa to ask citizens their view on environmental and climate issues. “The City of Ottawa needs 20,000 retrofits per year to meet climate targets, and half-a-million heat pumps,” Executive Director Steve Winkelman told host Alan Neal. “Those are jobs for plumbers and electricians.”

Neal asked whether Ottawa can afford the investments to hit net-zero in two decades. “We can’t afford not to,” Winkelman replied.

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