March 17, 2016
Green Investment Fund Supporting Shift to a Low-Carbon Economy
Ontario continues to put its new Climate Change Strategy into action by investing $13 million in two initiatives to help Indigenous communities address climate change and support economic growth.
The province is providing $5 million from the Green Investment Fund to the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources, in partnership with the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation. This investment will help provide Indigenous communities with training, tools and infrastructure to address climate change by:
* Developing climate change adaptation plans.
* Building technical capacity so Indigenous communities are able to take advantage of economic opportunities from Ontario’s proposed cap and trade program.
* Creating a Northern Ontario climate change impact study using data from the adaptation plans.
Ontario is also committing $8 million to develop advanced microgrid solutions in First Nations communities. These microgrid projects will support economic growth by reducing reliance on diesel fuel and enabling stable, predictable sources of power.
A shift to microgrids from diesel fuel is also vital to the fight against climate change and achieving Ontario’s greenhouse gas pollution reduction target of 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.
Ontario’s new Green Investment Fund is a $325 million down payment on the province’s cap and trade program to strengthen the economy, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These investments will help secure a healthy, clean and prosperous low-carbon future and transform the way we live, move, work and adapt to our environment while ensuring strong, sustainable communities.
Partnering with Indigenous communities to address climate change is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
* Continuous diesel-fired electricity generation in Ontario’s remote First Nation communities emits an estimated 65 kilotonnes of greenhouse gases annually at current generation levels.
* In just 10 years, Ontario has become a North American leader in the development, use and manufacturing of clean energy.
* A Canada 2020 poll shows that 84 per cent of Canadians believe that prosperous countries such as Canada have an obligation to show international leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
* In May 2015, Ontario became the first province in Canada to set a mid-term greenhouse gas pollution reduction target of 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.
* Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy
“Ensuring First Nations have the tools they need to fight and adapt to climate change is an imperative that we must take now. Today’s investments will help northern communities most affected by climate change take the action they need. And it will also set the foundation for future planning.”
— David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
“Climate change is having significant impacts on First Nations and Métis communities. This investment is just one example of the collaborative partnerships we want to establish with First Nations, Métis, business, academic and other non-governmental partners to foster sharing, learning and collective action towards a low-carbon, high-productivity economy that benefits us all.”
— Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
“This is another example of Ontario’s commitment to First Nations communities to help reduce their reliance on high-cost diesel fuel, lowering costs over time and yielding a range of socio-economic benefits. Investing in innovative solutions for communities that currently rely on diesel power will lessen harmful emissions, strengthen local economies and create clean energy jobs.”
— Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy
“This initiative will strengthen the capacity of First Nations communities to be more resilient to climate change and to find opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. First Nations will also be well positioned to capitalize on economic opportunities that will stem from the future carbon cap-and-trade system in Ontario.”
— Al Douglas, Director, Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources
“The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation is encouraged today by the commitment of the Ontario Government to assist First Nations in their fight against climate change. The investment announced today will work towards building capacity for tribal councils and First Nations in Ontario, to address the vital issues surrounding climate change. By working together we can achieve meaningful results for ourselves, our communities and our nations.”
— Shannin Metatawabin, Executive Director, Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation