Government of Canada Launches Applications for $170 Million Low Carbon Economy Challenge, Highlighting University of Victoria Pollution-cutting Project

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VICTORIA, BC, Nov. 17, 2023 /CNW/ – Canadians are calling for action to fight climate change in a way that will build a strong economy, keep life affordable, and ensure clean air for communities. The Low Carbon Economy Challenge is just one of the many ways the Government of Canada is working with partners across the country to leverage Canadian ingenuity to fight climate change, generate clean growth, build resilient communities, and create good jobs for Canadians.

Today, Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the launch of a new application period for the Low Carbon Economy Challenge, known as the Challenge Fund, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. The Challenge Fund will invest up to $170 million to support projects that deploy proven, low-carbon technologies, such as energy efficiency retrofits, waste diversion, and fuel switching, like renewable energy production or heat pump installations. These investments will reduce greenhouse gas emissions across sectors and contribute to meeting Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target, creating a healthy environment while building strong, clean, energy-efficient communities.

Parliamentary Secretary Dabrusin was joined by Kristi Simpson, Vice-President, Finance and Operations at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, to highlight progress on a project to electrify a portion of the district energy system that services 32 buildings across its main campus. Supported by up to $2.4 million from the 2022 Challenge Fund, the university is replacing one existing natural gas boiler with electric boilers, which will reduce consumption of natural gas and its overall greenhouse gas emissions, helping the university save on costs and creating a cleaner campus environment.

Projects like these help sectors work toward innovative solutions that allow them to reduce emissions, cut energy costs, and create jobs. The department is now accepting applications for the Challenge Fund until February 8, 2024. Applicants can find more information on the program, project eligibility, and the application process by visiting the Low Carbon Economy Challenge website


“The Challenge Fund supports local initiatives that are significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and bring us closer every day to reach our national emissions reduction target. Through the Low Carbon Economy Fund, the Government of Canada is partnering with climate leaders across the country to cut emissions, cut costs, and create jobs, and will continue to do so through this renewed funding.”
– Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The University of Victoria is grateful for the support of the federal government in accelerating our university’s efforts to achieve aggressive carbon reductions in the near term and position us for longer-term success in becoming a net-zero campus. Our campus community has challenged us to do better, creating a sustainable campus. This support will allow us to reduce emissions by 50 percent compared to 2010 levels. UVic now ranks as the world’s third-best university for climate action. This next transition will help move the bar forward again for what’s feasible—and achievable—in UVic’s vision for climate action.”
– Kristi Simpson, Vice-President, Finance and Operations, University of Victoria  

Quick facts

  • The Low Carbon Economy Challenge is supporting projects across the country that invest in proven, low-carbon technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Canada launched the Emissions Reduction Plan in 2022, laying out steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • On November 14, 2023, the Government of Canada launched the Low Carbon Economy Indigenous Leadership Fund, which will invest up to $180 million in clean energy and energy-efficiency projects led by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and organizations.

SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada

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