May 1, 2023

Remote First Nations Can Breathe Healthier Air with Reduced Diesel Use

Source Name
Civic Info BC
Source URL
BC Provincial Legislature in Victoria (Flickr/Province of British Columbia)

Originally Published: April 24, 2023

Remote First Nations Can Breathe Healthier Air with Reduced Diesel Use

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

VANCOUVER – More remote First Nations in British Columbia can move toward clean energy to power their homes, economies and daily lives with a provincial investment in the Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) program.

“First Nations throughout B.C. are taking a leadership role in reducing carbon pollution, and our government is there to partner with them,” said Premier David Eby. “This new investment will help even more remote communities build and expand clean-energy projects that move our province away from diesel and toward a cleaner, brighter future.”

The Premier made the announcement at the annual conference of the First Nations Major Project Coalition where more than 1,300 delegates and attendees are focusing on economic development that aligns with First Nations values, including clean energy.

New funding of $30 million will extend the CEDR program by three years. That means it can fund an estimated 96 projects over its six-year lifespan, including support for First Nations to replace diesel power generation with cleaner options, including hydro-electric, solar, biomass and wind.

“By doubling our investment in the Community Energy Diesel Reduction program, we are supporting some of the hardest-to-reach off-grid Indigenous communities to greatly reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and save money,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Clean energy and energy efficiency are foundations for a sustainable economy that supports future generations – and First Nations are leading the way in exploring and adopting alternatives to community-scale diesel generators.”

The CEDR program launched in 2022 with a $29-million investment from the Province. Its first intake awarded $7.1 million to help 12 First Nations plan and execute diesel-displacing clean-energy projects or reduce electricity use and costs through energy-efficiency retrofits.

The program is administered by the New Relationship Trust, which is partnering with Coast Funds to support applications from First Nations with communities in the Great Bear Rainforest and on Haida Gwaii. Applications will be open soon.

The CEDR program is part of CleanBC, the Province’s pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC supports government’s commitment to climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets and build a cleaner, stronger economy.

The Province’s CleanBC goal is to reduce diesel consumption by 80% in remote communities by 2030.