To help accelerate adaptation support for resilient municipal infrastructure the Government of Canada announced the $530-million Local Leadership for Climate Adaptation (LLCA) initiative, through the Green Municipal Fund.

This 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. 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,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

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.

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“The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund and the federal government are stepping up to meet the challenges of a changing climate with innovative and community-focused solutions. With the launch of the Local Leadership for Climate Adaptation 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. 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,” said Scott Pearce, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

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.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward in empowering local governments to address climate change head-on. By funding climate adaptation initiatives, we are not only supporting communities in their efforts to become more resilient, but also contributing to building stronger, more robust infrastructure. This program ensures a sustainable future and stronger, safer communities for all Canadians,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities of Canada.

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.

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“Extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and severity. We are committed to helping communities build resilience to these hazards. The new LLCA initiative is a great example of the improvements in adaptation and disaster resilience we can achieve through collaboration across all levels of government,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness, and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada.

Featured image: (L to R) Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness; Tim Tierney, Ottawa City Councillor; Anita Vandenbeld, MP, Ottawa West-Nepean; Steven Guibeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change; and Yasir Naqvi, MP, Ottawa Centre. (Government of Canada)

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