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FCM launches fresh approach to funding municipal sustainability

Presented by Joe Rogers
in Sustainability
March, 2024

Sponsored by Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Increasingly, local governments find themselves having to do more with less. This includes delivering essential services to residents while grappling with the repercussions of global problems like climate change.

Aging structures, rising costs, and weather-related challenges can have a profound impact on daily operations in municipalities across Canada. The Green Municipal Fund (GMF) supports municipalities as they balance those priorities.

With funding and resources for municipalities of all sizes, and an endowment from the Government of Canada, the fund has supported 2,100 municipal sustainability projects since its inception, empowering communities to:

  • build resilient infrastructure
  • drive down costs
  • reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Local governments can leverage this funding to improve and upgrade their operations while fostering resilience to climate change in their community. And as municipal needs change and evolve, GMF is ready to support with redesigned funding.

To better serve municipalities, existing funding for the energy, waste, water, transportation, and land use sectors have been refreshed. This update is designed to help municipalities:

build resilient infrastructure and municipal services

meet local climate objectives

support a net-zero Canada

Transforming Municipal Infrastructure and Services

The refreshed fund is introducing exciting new offers that support a wide range of low-carbon focused projects.

1. Sustainable municipal buildings – Construct and retrofit municipal buildings with energy-efficient technologies. This helps reduce energy costs, lower GHG emissions, and foster resilience.

2. Community energy systems – Build resilience in the face of climate change by providing electricity, heating, and cooling to buildings from renewable or recovered energy sources.

3. Municipal fleet electrification – Electrify your fleet of municipal and public transportation vehicles to save on operating and maintenance, reduce GHG emissions, and improve essential service delivery.

4. Organic waste-to-energy – Recover value and energy from organic materials and landfill gas. Reduce GHG emissions by generating energy from local waste streams. Create valuable products such as digestate and fertilizers.

5. Net zero transformation – Develop innovative solutions that significantly cut GHG emissions, paving the way for a net-zero future.

Funding Support for Communities of all Sizes

Municipalities with less than 10,000 residents may receive grants for a plan, study, or pilot that will cover 80 percent of the eligible project costs (instead of 50 percent for bigger municipalities). This also extends to northern and Indigenous communities.

Joint applications to maximize the reach and impact of funded projects are encouraged. And, one-on-one support to municipalities is available throughout the application process.

Path to a Sustainable, Resilient Future

Communities across Canada have diverse needs. The refreshed funding is poised to support municipalities as they create local change that has a national impact.

To learn what the Green Municipal Fund can do for your municipality, visit

Municipal World Executive and Essentials Plus Members: You might also be interested in Dwayne Torrey and Kay Penn’s article: Standards and codes can help secure the resiliency of Canada’s vulnerable infrastructure.

Joe Rogers is the director of the net zero accelerations programs unit at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund.

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