The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) recently released the 21st annual report of the Green Municipal FundTM (GMF), highlighting its exceptional track record in municipal sustainability. From capacity building, to planning, to capital projects — GMF supports local governments to reduce pollution, improve energy efficiency, build housing that is affordable and sustainable, revitalize public infrastructure and more.

Despite the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic in communities across Canada, municipalities big and small have continued to drive forward towards climate neutrality, net zero energy and environmental sustainability. This is what this year’s report is about: initiatives that are enabling deep systemic change and moving the country closer to net-zero emissions by 2050.

“With influence over half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, local governments are key to meeting Canada’s climate goals more than ever before,” said Joanne Vanderheyden, president of FCM. “This is why the Green Municipal Fund is such a success story: it supports municipalities of all sizes as they act locally to reach net-zero emissions. We are more committed than ever to partner with municipalities to build economically, environmentally, and socially vibrant communities.”

Joanne Vanderheyden, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

GMF’s core funding for plans, feasibility studies, pilots and capital projects in brownfields, energy transportation, waste and water continue to ensure municipalities are leaders in addressing climate change. New initiatives like Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3), Community Efficiency Financing and Sustainable Affordable Housing were also launched and have already generated impressive impacts on the ground. This year saw $116.4M in loans and $53.1M in grants approved — making this the largest amount approved in a single year since the Fund’s inception.

“Municipalities are responsible for 60 per cent of Canada’s core infrastructure, making them critical to a successful economic restart. Municipal leaders are essential partners in the post-pandemic economic recovery, and GMF’s well-established funding can deliver a much-needed stimulus on the frontlines, quickly and efficiently.” added Vanderheyden.

GMF is a $1 billion endowment funded by the Government of Canada and delivered to municipalities by FCM. Its dividends fund programs and increase the total funds that can be invested in communities across Canada. To date, 1,243 initiatives have been completed and hundreds more are in progress nationwide.

The FCM also released a guide to help municipal staff talk to decision-makers and elected officials about adapting to the local impacts of climate change. The “Talking it Through: A Discussion Guide for Local Government Staff on Climate Adaptation” resource provides information on:

  • Climate change and the local, place-based impacts on built, natural and social systems
  • Why local planning and action is needed to adapt and ensure resiliency
  • Two key approaches to adaptation: planning-based and operations-based
  • Adaptation measures taken by local governments across Canada
  • Contextual differences between urban, rural and remote, and northern communities
  • Indigenous perspectives on adaptation

The guide includes four key tools to assist climate adaptation conversations:

  • A typology of climate conversations key factors that determine the types of climate conversations most relevant to your community right now
  • Five guiding principles for effective adaptation
  • A set of self-assessment questions to help you clarify your adaptation context your specific needs, objectives, barriers and progress to date
  • Five case studies of various approaches to advancing adaptation representing communities of different sizes, locations, climate hazards and adaptation approaches

Download the guide here.

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