New $206 million Climate Action and Awareness Fund to support youth, scientists, and researchers across Canada

From: Environment and Climate Change Canada

Canadians from coast to coast to coast are taking action in their communities to fight climate change. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting community-based projects that reduce emissions, create good, green jobs, and make life more affordable for Canadians.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced the creation of the new Climate Action and Awareness Fund, which will invest $206 million in projects that will help reduce emissions across the country. The Fund will strengthen Canada’s capacity to take climate action by empowering youth and communities and boosting climate science and research.

The Minister also launched a request for proposals for community-based climate action projects. Up to $50 million over five years will be allocated to this priority area. The remaining funding will go toward three additional priorities under the Climate Action and Awareness Fund:

  • increasing climate youth awareness, engagement and action;
  • advancing climate science and technology; and
  • supporting academia and think tank organizations to better understand Canada’s transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The new Fund was created with contributions from the existing Climate Action Fund and a significant investment from the Environmental Damages Fund, which collects fines from polluters who break Canada’s environmental laws. The Environmental Damages Fund ensures that environmental good follows our enforcement measures, by investing in projects that focus on environmental restoration, environmental quality improvement, research and development, and education and awareness.


“The smoke-filled air caused by devastating wildfires on the west coast is yet another example of the effects of a changing climate. As we look to our economic recovery, the Government of Canada is focused on creating good jobs and making life more affordable for Canadians, while fighting climate change. The new Climate Action and Awareness Fund will create jobs for Canadians in science and technology, academia, and at the grassroots community level. Our Government is proud to support these groups who are leading tangible action on climate change in their communities as we work as a country to exceed our Paris Agreement target and build a net zero economy by 2050.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • This significant investment of up to $50 million in community-based climate action will help support Canada’s transition to a cleaner economy and future. Potential examples of projects include an active transportation campaign that encourages walking and cycling, or an Indigenous group creating a community climate action plan.

  • The request for proposals for community-based climate action launches today. Requests for proposals for climate science and technology and supporting academia and think tanks will open in the coming months.

  • The Climate Action and Awareness Fund will provide jobs and funding to non profit organizations, Indigenous organizations, and academic institutions and universities across the country tackling climate change.

  • Applicants must be non-profit non-governmental organizations, Indigenous organizations, and/or universities and academic institutions. However, applicants are encouraged to partner with other organizations, including provincial, territorial and municipal governments.

  • Fines imposed as penalties under environmental legislation following prosecutions are credited to the Environmental Damages Fund, which ensures that environmental good follows environmental harm.

  • In June 2020, the Environment Damages Fund accepted applications for education-based projects that encourage youth engagement and action on climate change outside of formal school curriculum. These applications are currently under review, and approved projects will be funded under the new Climate Action and Awareness Fund.

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