To launch Canadian Environment Week, the Government of Canada is providing $530 million to municipalities through the Green Municipal Fund to help communities adapt to climate change by accelerating adaptation support for resilient municipal infrastructure.

This $530-million initiative represents one of the largest ever investments in building liveable and resilient communities in preparation for climate change in Canadian history and is a key initiative under Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy.

Through collaboration with local governments, the initiative will support adaptation planning, capacity building, implementation, and financing, to help municipalities and their partners build long-term, resilient infrastructure. By 2031, the initiative will have funded more than 1,400 municipal activities.

“Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change, and they know best what local challenges—and solutions—are affecting local neighbourhoods, transportation, and businesses,” said Steven Guilbealt, federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Government of Canada partnership is helping build stronger, more liveable communities, providing safety and security in the face of a changing climate. With smart investments, forward planning, and active collaboration, we can support communities that are already feeling the impacts of climate change and help make them more sustainable and prosperous for generations to come.”

As part of this announcement, the federally funded Green Municipal Fund is accepting applications through its website under the Adaptation in Action funding stream of LLCA. In all, there are three funding streams that will provide substantial support for municipalities to carry out climate adaptation projects. In addition to support for climate adaptation planning, municipalities can apply for up to $1 million for implementation projects and up to $70,000 for feasibility studies. Municipalities that have completed climate adaptation plans and/or risk assessments are eligible to apply. The deadline for applications is August 14, 2024.

The Green Municipal Fund is also introducing funding for partner-led initiatives that will enable skills development and training to help local governments build more resilient communities. Eligible partners will receive funding and support to design and deliver training programs that equip municipalities with the tools they need for proactive and equitable climate resilience planning.

While all people in Canada are at risk of climate change impacts, these risks are not shared equally. Those already facing inequities in our society, including marginalized groups, the elderly, and the people living with disabilities, are among those most likely to be impacted by severe weather events. The new climate adaptation initiative announced today will focus on advancing meaningful equity and inclusion outcomes through projects to help build stronger, more liveable, and more resilient communities all across Canada.

“With the launch of the LLCA initiative, we can bring real, tangible benefits to municipalities. Imagine a new green space in your community that also serves as a flood barrier, or a local training program that empowers residents to tackle climate change head-on,” said Scott Pearce, president of FCM. “From projects that support storm-resistant coastal barriers and water conservation practices, to slope stabilization for fire-impacted and permafrost-degraded areas, this initiative is a national declaration with locally felt impacts. LLCA will build resilient communities that not only anticipate future climate challenges but actively adapt to them.”

Since 1971, Canada has celebrated Canadian Environment Week in alignment with the United Nations World Environment Day, observed on June 5. This year’s theme for World Environment Day is “Generation Restoration”, focused on land restoration, halting desertification, and building drought resilience.

Featured image credit: Getty Images

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