The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are investing in initiatives that will help municipalities reach net-zero from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Most recently, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and FCM President Scott Pearce have announced an investment of up to $175,000, through the Green Municipal Fund, to support a “Municipal Impact Investment Fund” initiative led by MaRS Discovery District.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the MaRS’ Climate Action Accelerator to Net Zero through the Green Municipal Fund,” said Wilkinson. “This important initiative will support Canadian municipalities to accelerate job-creating retrofit projects, while reducing emissions and delivering clean air across the country.”

“Whether it be reducing greenhouse gas emissions or retrofitting a variety of buildings, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is proud to continue supporting projects like the one being announced here today through the Green Municipal Fund,” said Pearce. “The MaRS’ initiative will help small and mid-sized municipalities achieve their net zero goals. Together in partnership with the federal government, local communities are on the path to greater sustainability and affordability.”

Many small and medium-sized municipalities are seeking access to the financing, capacity and expertise to undertake retrofit projects of sufficient scale to achieve their climate targets. Based on similar European funding models, MaRS’ Climate Action Accelerator to Net Zero (CAANZero) will assist cohorts of municipalities in maximizing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies and in accelerating climate action through retrofit projects, including updates to commercial, industrial and residential buildings, wastewater treatment infrastructure and public lighting.

This announcement will help MaRS develop a governance and operational structure for CAANZero, including helping administrators explore approaches to aggregating retrofit projects to attract private capital investment into these projects.

The GMF helps local governments switch to sustainable practices faster. Its unique mix of funding, resources and training gives municipalities the tools they need to build resiliency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Canada will need to spend about $400 billion in the next 20 years to retrofit infrastructure to meet its climate goals and more than half of that infrastructure falls within cities. It’s a huge burden,” says Tyler Hamilton, senior director of climate at MaRS. “Through CAANZero, municipalities can access the expertise and financial support they currently lack to quickly identify achievable high-impact projects and get them done.”

Featured image credit: Getty Images.

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