Funding increased for Indigenous green economy projects

Last year, the projects exceeded the programs’ $35-million budget so $50 million is available this year

Mario ToneguzziThe Alberta government has increased funding for its Indigenous climate leadership programs.

Funding has now risen from $35 million to nearly $50 million.

The government says seven programs have been designed to help Indigenous communities and organizations invest in local renewable projects, energy-efficiency audits and training for jobs in a low-carbon economy. Last year, the project proposals received exceeded the programs’ budget.

“We have heard loud and clear from Indigenous communities that these programs work, which is why we have chosen to increase funding. There is tremendous interest in this program. Last year, 125 projects in 66 Indigenous communities or organizations were completed and we expect the number of projects to rise this year,” said Richard Feehan, Alberta’s Minister of Indigenous Relations.

Indigenous Climate Leadership funding programs include:

  • Alberta Indigenous Climate Capacity Program;
  • Alberta Indigenous Climate Planning Program;
  • Alberta Indigenous Community Energy (Audits) Program;
  • Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program;
  • Alberta Indigenous Solar Program;
  • Alberta Indigenous Green Energy Development Program; 
  • Alberta Indigenous Green Employment Program.

The federal government provided $7 million to the province for these initiatives.The province is using the federal money this year and next to boost funding for its Alberta Indigenous Solar Program and Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program, it said.

Over the lifetime of the projects funded through these programs, more than 36,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year will be avoided – equivalent to removing more than 7,000 passenger vehicles each year from the roads. In 2017-18, an estimated 250 people will have been trained for careers in the green economy, the Alberta government added.

“Our government is proud to work with the Province of Alberta to tackle climate change and put clean energy solutions into action. This type of collaboration is a central part of Canada’s clean growth and climate action plan. We are also pleased to support the Enoch First Nation’s leadership to reduce carbon pollution by investing in solar power. Projects like these support economic opportunities and local jobs, while contributing to a more sustainable future for our kids and grandkids,” said Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

indigenousThe views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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