The Government of Canada announced a $22 million contribution to Alberta Ecotrust Foundation to support low-carbon solutions in Calgary. The contribution is part of the $183 million investment to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3), part of the Collaboration on Community Climate Action portfolio announced in Budget 2019.
“This strategic investment from the Canadian government means Alberta Ecotrust can add to its long standing suite of programs to nimbly lead, accelerate and complement local carbon reduction strategies to meet critical emission targets,” says Pat Letizia, Executive Director. “We are excited and uniquely positioned to partner with the City of Calgary and others to design, deploy and scale urban climate solutions in the city.”
Cities have a big role to play in addressing climate change, where half of Canada’s carbon emissions originate from sources such as buildings and industry. Modeled on The Atmospheric Fund, the LC3 approach provides the capacity, capital, and risk tolerance necessary to remove barriers to the adoption of new technologies, policies, and financial tools that can reduce urban carbon emissions.
The federal contribution will create a fund to demonstrate innovative financing for direct investment in local low-carbon projects and ventures. “These investments will earn a market rate of return to fund new community programs,” adds Letizia. “These programs include new grants to nonprofit organizations to support climate action and build community capacity, as well as internally led initiatives.”
An LC3 Centre in Calgary will work with many stakeholders, both inside and outside of the City of Calgary, to accelerate and scale local projects that are in alignment with the City’s Climate Resilience Strategy.
“We’re pleased to see this investment in our community,” says Dick Ebersohn, Manager of the City of Calgary’s Climate Program. “Our Climate Resilience Strategy seeks to identify opportunities for carbon reductions and improved energy management, and so this kind of partnership is key to our success.”
Initial projects will focus on deep energy retrofits in the commercial and residential sector, and local deployment of renewable energy. Additionally, the LC3 Centre will work the City and community partners to ensure low-carbon actions generate valuable local benefits such as public health, good jobs, and improved social equity.
“Calgary has been at the forefront of innovation for energy in all its forms,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “The City has collaborated with a diverse cross-section of industry, academia, non-profit organizations and citizens for great success in this regard. The establishment of the LC3 will enable and attract business investment by helping businesses find efficiencies and de-risk projects leading to innovative solutions.”
About Low Carbon Cities Canada
Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) is a partnership between seven local centres and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to accelerate urban carbon solutions. The LC3 centres are located in seven of Canada’s largest urban areas: Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Edmonton, Calgary, the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, Ottawa, the Montreal area, and the Halifax region. As the national partner, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will support LC3 and connect with other cities across Canada. Alberta Ecotrust will operate the LC3 centres in Calgary and Edmonton.
About Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation fosters collaboration between companies, environmental nonprofits and others to improve the health of Alberta’s ecosystems. Alberta Ecotrust programs build bridges, support collaborative leadership and invest in high impact organizations and environmental initiatives in our focus areas of water, land use, and climate change. Alberta Ecotrust believes everyone has a role to play in creating a sustainable future, and actively works to build trust and foster collaboration across sector boundaries among those who share this vision. With 28 years of grantmaking and community investment experience, to date Alberta Ecotrust has directly invested more than $9 million in environmental projects across Alberta.