Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi has announced a $20-million initiative aimed at reducing diesel reliance in remote Indigenous communities. Developed in collaboration with Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise (ICE SE) and the Pembina Institute, the Generating New Opportunities: Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative will help communities move away from using diesel by developing cleaner community-led energy projects.

An all-Indigenous panel of jurors will select up to fifteen communities to receive hands-on support and up to $1.3 million in funding to develop their community-driven energy plan over the next three years. At the end, leading communities will receive an additional two years of funding (total of up to $9 million available to support several community projects) from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities (CERRC) program to move their clean energy project forward.

“This initiative will reduce the environmental, social and economic impacts of diesel reliance, provide economic opportunities, and enable Indigenous communities to harness cleaner energy,” said Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade.

This initiative builds on over $700 million already committed to help rural and remote communities get off diesel.

“Indigenous communities need to be the leaders in the transition away from diesel to a cleaner, more resilient energy future. Reduction in fossil fuels through innovative clean energy projects will create a more secure energy future for communities, and aid in the fight against climate change,” said Chris Henderson, Clean Energy Advisor, Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise.

The Generating New Opportunities: Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative incorporated feedback from significant engagement over the last 18 months, including from regional and National Indigenous Organizations, and remote community representatives.

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