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January 13, 2021, 1:31 pm

SFU Selected to Establish Low Carbon Cities Canada Innovation Centre for Metro Vancouver Region

City of Vancouver
VANCOUVER – Simon Fraser University’s Renewable Cities program has been selected by the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to establish a regional Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) Innovation Centre to accelerate urban climate solutions through research, capacity building, and innovative financial tools.

The Metro Vancouver LC3 Centre, which is expected to launch in September 2021, will be a new non-profit entity that will help cities across the region meet their climate action goals. The LC3 Centre will be funded through a $21.7 million endowment from the federal government, which will be used to identify, finance, and scale up local climate solutions such as building retrofits and electrification of transportation. The LC3 Centre will seek to partner with other levels of government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector, to maximize its impact and leverage the endowment.

The federal endowment for the Metro Vancouver LC3 Centre is part of a $183 million initiative called Low Carbon Cities Canada.  LC3 supports cities and communities in reaching their carbon emissions reduction potential, while improving public health and the local economy. This initiative, implemented in partnership among seven local centres and FCM, is funded by the Government of Canada. 

Over the next eight months, SFU’s Renewable Cities will be leading stakeholder engagement and strategic planning work to establish and launch the Metro Vancouver LC3 Centre. Input will be gathered from a range of stakeholders, including local and provincial government, industry, non-profit organizations, and the finance sector, to ensure the centre prioritizes local needs and opportunities. 

Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) is a partnership between seven local centres—Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax—and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities intended to accelerate urban climate solutions and help Canada meet its 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets. 

The LC3 initiative helps cities reduce their carbon footprint by identifying, capitalizing and testing local solutions such as building retrofits, distributed renewable power, zero waste circular economy, electrification of transportation, shared mobility, and integrating transportation with land use patterns. 

The LC3 initiative was inspired by the successful model pioneered by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) in Toronto, which was established in 1991 through an endowment from the City of Toronto. TAF uses innovative financial tools, administers grants and advances policies and programs to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Municipalities across the Metro Vancouver region, including the City of Vancouver, have declared climate emergencies and have set ambitious targets to align with the Paris Agreement. Likewise, Metro Vancouver is currently developing Climate 2050, an overarching long-term climate action strategy that will guide our region’s policies and collective actions to transition to a carbon neutral and resilient region over the next 30 years. 


Quotes

Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of City of Vancouver
“In November 2020, Vancouver City Council approved the Climate Emergency Action Plan, which provides a roadmap to scale-up local climate action and reduce our carbon pollution by 50% by 2030,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “The Federal funding to create the LC3 centre will boost our ability to develop and invest in new local solutions and support innovation as we continue to reduce carbon emissions from buildings and transportation, which are key priorities of our accelerated climate work.” 

Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors
“There has never been a more important time to accelerate urban climate action,” said Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors. “Through the LC3 Centre, our local communities will have a venue for developing, testing, and implementing innovative solutions that can be broadly rolled out and scaled across our region. Metro Vancouver looks forward to working with the LC3 Centre and SFU toward helping us meet our ambitious climate goals and creating a carbon neutral region by 2050.”

Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
“An urban climate centre in Vancouver will support energy efficiency, grow our economy, help save Canadians money, and create jobs,” said Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Cities play a key role in tackling climate change. The Government of Canada is helping to support urban climate solutions such as building retrofits and electric vehicles. Local solutions to local challenges will result in better jobs, more inclusive communities and practical solutions to climate change,” added Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Canadians want cleaner air and cleaner water for their children and grandchildren. The research and collaboration that will take place at the Metro Vancouver LC3 Centre will help deliver just that, while creating good jobs here in Vancouver, fighting climate change, and protecting our planet,” stated Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Garth Frizzell, President of Federation of Canadian Municipalities
“Local climate solutions are critical to meeting Canada’s climate goals. This investment will help Metro Vancouver reach its full emissions-cutting power,” said FCM President Garth Frizzell. “We already see our cities leading the way on low-carbon innovation, and this investment will help us go further — to build green and innovative solutions that build better lives for Canadians.”

Alex Boston, Executive Director of SFU Renewable Cities
“We are looking forward to engaging with private, public and non-profit sectors to harness the immense intellectual, social and financial capital of the region through a new institution and a high impact board to bend the carbon curve to zero,” added Alex Boston, Executive Director, SFU Renewable Cities.


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