Students around the world are demanding climate action. Young people want to, and need to, be part of the solution. By being energy efficient, we can build better learning environments, cut energy costs and help people save money. Ensuring students can learn in a healthy environment will also help young people succeed.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced a new proposed climate action program to support schools in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick. These are the four jurisdictions where the federal carbon pollution pricing system is currently in effect. Whether it’s replacing drafty windows, installing better lighting, or putting in place heating and cooling systems, improvements to classrooms will help create a healthier learning environment for students. Energy efficient retrofits will also help schools save on energy costs and allow those savings to be spent on activities that will benefit students and teachers. The Government of Canada looks forward to working together with provinces to help schools make energy efficient retrofits.
This new proposed program is part of the Climate Action Incentive Fund. Under the federal carbon pollution pricing system, most of the proceeds from the federal fuel charge are being returned to residents directly through the Climate Action Incentive payments. The remainder is being returned through the Climate Action Incentive Fund, which will support small and medium-sized enterprises, municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, and not-for-profit organizations in jurisdictions where proceeds were collected.
This first round of funding will be directed towards schools. Details on funding for other areas covered under the Climate Action Incentive Fund will follow after consultations with stakeholders.
“When students have healthy learning environments and teachers have efficient and effective classrooms, it’s our future that is the winner. Our approach to pricing pollution ensures it is no longer free to pollute, and it’s a practical and affordable solution to fight climate change.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
The proceeds from pricing carbon pollution available to support schools is proposed to total $60 million in 2019-2020. Proceeds will be returned to the jurisdiction they came from. For this round, it means $12 million proposed for schools in Saskatchewan, $5 million proposed in Manitoba, $41 million proposed in Ontario and $2 million proposed in New Brunswick.
Under the Climate Action Incentive Fund, schools – defined as elementary and secondary schools – would receive federal funding to support projects that reduce energy-related costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Government of Canada will work closely with provinces to deliver funding to schools. Schools and school boards interested in participating in the proposed program are encouraged to contact their provincial governments for more details on how to apply.
Taking action on climate change presents a global economic opportunity representing $26 trillion and 65 million jobs.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer indicated that under the federal system to price pollution, eight out of 10 families will be better off.