B.C. launches new program to accelerate local climate action
News Release, North Vancouver, Monday, May 16, 2022 10:45 AM
Stronger collaboration, planning and action to reduce climate pollution and build protection for local communities will result from the new CleanBC Local Government Climate Action Program.
The program will provide predictable, stable funding for municipalities, regional districts and Modern Treaty Nations to accelerate local climate projects and build a better future for people in their communities.
“We’re working with local leaders to address the climate crisis and create new opportunities for people in the clean economy with more funding support,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Local communities have been leaders in the fight against climate change, and this new program will accelerate their actions to cut pollution and build more resilient communities for everyone. We’ve listened to local leaders and designed a program that responds to their community priorities with funding they can count on each year.”
Through Budget 2022, the Province provided $76 million over three years for the Local Government Climate Action Program. Funds will be distributed to eligible governments based on each community’s population and a base amount. Participating governments will be required to show funds have been invested in projects that support the objectives of the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 or the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.
“Our local government partners are facing the impacts of climate change head on,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “They are also on the leading edge of climate action, building resilient communities and are preparing for the future. This new program will help communities of all sizes build a cleaner, better future for people across B.C.”
The Local Government Climate Action Program was designed considering input from local governments, the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), Modern Treaty Nations and the independent Climate Solutions Council.
“Local governments have led the way on climate action and this new provincial program will help municipalities further strengthen their work building cleaner, more resilient communities,” said Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, president of UBCM and councillor for the City of Quesnel. “By working together with the Province, we’ve helped make sure local government priorities are reflected in the design of this new program.”
To be eligible, participating governments are required to sign on to the B.C. Climate Action Charter, complete a number of reporting requirements and demonstrate matching funding or in-kind contributions for local climate initiatives equal to 20% of their provincial allocation.
The CleanBC Roadmap is the Province’s plan to expand and accelerate climate action by building on the province’s natural advantages – abundant and clean electricity, innovative technology and highly skilled workforce. It sets a path for increased collaboration to build a British Columbia that works for everyone.
To learn more about the Local Government Climate Action Program, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/local-government-climate-action-program
To read the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, visit: www.cleanbc.ca
A backgrounder follows.
What people are saying about the Local Government Climate Action Program
Linda Buchanan, mayor, City of North Vancouver –
“The effects of climate change are increasingly clear as we experience more extreme weather events. These challenges require all levels of government to redouble their efforts in building a low-carbon and sustainable future. The Local Government Climate Action Program will support communities of all sizes as they invest in green infrastructure that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also improving social and economic outcomes for people. I thank the Province for this investment as it will provide local governments the means to create better communities for generations to come.”
Arjun Singh, councillor, City of Kamloops; member of Climate Solutions Council –
“This new climate program will be an important resource for the City of Kamloops to help implement our climate action plan to move away from fossil fuels toward a cleaner future with better infrastructure and amenities for everyone in our community. I’m pleased to see the Province listened to local governments and my fellow members on the independent Climate Solutions Council in designing the program so communities big and small benefit.”
Toni Boot, mayor, District of Summerland; member of Climate Solutions Council –
“The District of Summerland is very pleased with the new Local Government Climate Action Program and the $76 million in funding over three years in Budget 2022. Summerland employs a full-time climate-action staff person and annually allocates monies for climate initiatives. In September 2021, we received the Community Energy Association’s Climate and Energy Action Award in the Corporate Operations category. The award recognizes the district’s leadership in moving from planning to implementation in the climate-action space. It’s through our previous collaborations with the Province and this new program that this work is made possible.”
Lisa Helps, Mayor, City of Victoria –
“Local governments are key partners in the Province delivering on the ambitious objectives of CleanBC. This funding will assist local governments to continue to take bold climate action. It will also enable collaboration among local governments like the work we have been doing through the Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Climate Leadership Plan steering committee, allowing large and small, rural and urban local governments to work together and to work with First Nations. This funding will help advance that work.”
Leonard Krog, mayor, City of Nanaimo –
“The new Local Government Climate Action Program is a welcome addition to help municipalities like Nanaimo build on the climate actions we’ve taken so far to improve our community infrastructure, drive down emissions and create new opportunities for people in the clean economy. The new program will provide a stable source of funding to support future planning and action as we work to meet our emissions targets and prepare for future climate impacts.”
Brian Frenkel, councillor, District of Vanderhoof –
“The Local Government Climate Action Program funding will build capacity in small and rural local governments throughout B.C., to help showcase innovative new technologies, and support community-based climate action leadership. The new fund will provide important funding to secure stronger action and collaboration across governments to help rural communities reduce emissions and respond to their own local climate impacts.”
Lori Ackerman, mayor, Fort St. John –
“If there is a community that understands energy from creation to consumption, it’s ours. Fort St. John is a leader in reducing emissions and responding to climate impacts in our community where a real impact can be achieved. Over the past several years, we have initiated innovative projects that create energy, reduce emissions and leave a lighter footprint. The Local Government Climate Action Program will enable us to continue to invest in projects and showcase real action on the ground, in the community where we live, work and play.”
Linda Worley, chair, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) –
“The RDKB is delighted that the Province is launching its new Local Government Climate Action Program and providing continued financial support for local governments to help reduce emissions and respond to climate impacts. The RDKB is committed to climate action and working with its communities to mitigate, adapt and prepare for climate change. We’ve taken a range of actions, from supporting electric vehicle infrastructure to implementing a region-wide organics-diversion strategy that included rural residents. These projects allowed the RDKB to successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% when compared to 2012 emissions.”
Dale Littlejohn, executive director, Community Energy Association –
“Congratulations to the Government of B.C. for what might be the most strategic support for local climate action in more than a decade. Local governments influence about half the emissions in B.C., and this support comes at a critical time, as many communities work to cut those emissions in half this decade. The speed and scale of these reductions and regional nature of many solutions necessitates cross-community collaboration, particularly for capacity-constrained small communities. This program can provide the spark for large-scale and collaborative actions in every corner of the province in partnership with the Province.”
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy