Using and enjoying your real estate may contribute more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than you realize, making you part of the climate change problem. Canadians who want to play an active role in reducing GHG emissions will receive even more support from Environment Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program.
EcoAction's funding has been restructured to reserve 50 per cent of its funds for climate change projects that assist Canadians in reducing their personal greenhouse gas emissions. The program supports the One-Tonne Challenge, a multi-facetted public outreach program that combines community action and national promotion to challenge Canadians to reduce their personal GHG emissions by one tonne, or about 20 per cent. The other half of EcoAction funding continues to support projects aimed at other environmental priorities such as nature conservation, air quality and water quality.
Successful climate change projects vary depending on specific regional priorities, geography, urban/rural population distribution and the energy source used for electricity. They may tackle environmental topics which include:
- Promotion of alternative or sustainable transportation choices.
- Promotion of energy efficient consumer choices.
- Anti-idling initiatives.
- Waste reduction/diversion projects which result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions from incineration or landfill gases.
- Capacity-building projects linked to a subsequent action such as the development of sustainable transportation plans or smog management plans.
Environment Canada recently awarded a total of C$2 million to finance 52 projects designed to reduce greenhouse gases in communities across Canada, including this cross-country cross section:
- Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions through the Naturalization of Park Spaces, Grand Concourse Authority, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. $18,000
- Meeting the One Tonne Challenge on Annapolis Farms Project, Clean Annapolis River Project, Annapolis River Watershed, Nova Scotia. $41,000
- Solar Mapping Project, Bathurst Sustainable Development, Bathurst, New Brunswick. $18,900
- Centrale de covoiturage au centre-ville, Centre de gestion des déplacements du Centre-ville, Montréal, Quebec. $51,000
- Student Energy Monitoring Study, Environmental Earth Angels, Grade 5 York and Durham Regions, Ontario. $24,000
- We Have the Power: Increasing Awareness of Climate Change by Increasing Energy Efficiency within Pembina Trails School Division Facilities, Pembina Trails Educational Support Fund, Winnipeg and areas: Fort Garry, Fort Richmond, Richmond West, Whyte Ridge, Waverley Heights, Charleswood, Tuxedo and Linden Woods, Manitoba. $21,000
- Youth Action on Climate Change, Partners for the Saskatchewan River Basin Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba. $99,300
- Growing Church Audit Capacity and Green Parish Accreditation Program, Anglican Provincial Task Force on the Environment, Throughout the 'ecclesiastical province of British Columbia.' $47,100
- Whitehorse Anti-idling Campaign, Northern Climate Exchange, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory (materials to other Yukon communities if requested). $19,600
"Individual Canadians have an important role to play in finding innovative solutions to climate change," said The Honourable David Anderson, Federal Minister of the Environment. "These investments, coupled with the talent and commitment of voluntary sector organizations across the country, will lead to real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions."
Since 1995, the EcoAction program has funded more than 1,450 environmental projects on air quality, climate change, water quality and nature conservation. To be eligible, projects must encourage community action and awareness, respond to community needs, and obtain matching funding or in-kind support from other sponsors.
- For more information on the One-Tonne Challenge, visit the federal government Climate Change website or get your copy of the publication, "The One Tonne Challenge Tips Guide", which contains information on the programs and resources available, and extensive tips and suggestions for reducing emissions at home and on the road.
- If you have an idea for a project that promotes actions to reduce GHG emissions, or if you want more information on EcoAction Community Funding Program, contact the EcoAction office representing your province or territory. The next submission deadline is October 1.
Don't think you are a threat to climate change? Check out your personal GHG emissions levels using this handy calculator and find out how your household may have an impact on Canada's climate.