The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) welcomes the $183 million the federal government allocated to Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) in yesterday’s budget. LC3 is a national program to support local climate actions in cities across Canada. TAF is the local centre for the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area (GTHA).
“We’re so grateful for this visionary investment from the federal government. With this strategic investment, we can do so much more to accelerate projects that bring down carbon emissions and improve people’s health, create new green jobs and contribute to a more fair and equitable society,” says Julia Langer, TAF CEO.
LC3 is a partnership between seven local centres and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. TAF was established in 1991 to advance local solutions to climate change. Other centres will be established in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal Metropolitan Community, and the Halifax region. Federal funding will be invested on a revolving basis – following the TAF model– and the original value of the capital will be maintained. As the national partner, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will support LC3 and share outcomes and lessons with other cities across Canada.
LC3 will help Canada meet 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets. Nationally, it’s expected to contribute 5 per cent of the reduction target in the federal Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. About half of Canada’s carbon emissions originate in urban areas.
The federal government’s investment in TAF adds to existing endowments from the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario. Together these funds will be invested in mandate-related activities and earnings will support all TAF’s local activities for decades to come. TAF’s existing mandate remains unchanged, with support focused on the GTHA.
Good carbon reduction ideas and one-off pilots often fail to reach full-scale adoption due to risk aversion, challenges accessing capital and markets, and policy barriers. With this new funding, TAF can do more to help remove barriers by providing the capacity, capital, risk tolerance, policy advice, and collaboration needed to accelerate solutions. These low-carbon solutions include creating high-performance buildings through retrofits and stronger building code standards, and supporting district energy and distributed renewables, such as geothermal systems in existing neighbourhoods and natural gas-free new neighbourhoods. TAF support will be provided through grants, investments, and programs.
“We will continue to take a leadership role in advancing high-impact emission reduction actions that generate multiple benefits for GTHA residents. Thanks to new support from the federal government, we are better positioned to accelerate climate solutions for Canada’s most populous urban region. We are also thrilled to see the proven TAF model replicated to help pick up the pace of change in other urban areas of Canada.”
The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) is a regional climate agency that invests in low-carbon solutions in the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area and helps scale them up for broad implementation. We are experienced leaders and collaborate with stakeholders in the private, public and non-profit sectors who have ideas and opportunities for reducing carbon emissions. Supported by endowment funds, we advance the most promising concepts, particularly those offering co-benefits such as improved health, resilience, equity, and local jobs. TAF formed in 1991 after receiving a $23 million endowment from the City of Toronto. In 2016, the Province of Ontario provided it with a $17 million endowment to allow TAF’s services to be offered throughout the GTHA.
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The federal budget: “FCM and the Low Carbon Cities Canada Initiatives will create a network across Canada that will support local community actions to reduce GHG emissions.” LC3 funding is part of a $350 million investment in the FCM’s Green Municipal Fund.