A deadline has been set for Manitoba and Saskatchewan to sign on to the federal government’s national climate change agreement if they want to avoid losing millions of dollars to aid cut emissions.
Details of the Trudeau government’s promised $2-billion Low Carbon Economy Fund were released on Thursday by the Minister of Environment Catherine McKenna, and this money is to be spent in two runs over the next 5 years.
A $600-million Low Carbon Economy Challenge for industry and public sector projects will be the first part of the expenditure; this will be set in motion this fall and distributed on a merit-based, project-by-project basis. A lot of bodies including provinces, municipalities, territories, organizations and indigenous governments will all be able to apply for funds. And proposals which provide the biggest emissions decline for the lowest amount of money will be given preference.
The second part of the expenditure is a $1.4-billion Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund per capita fund for territories and provinces that have signed on to the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
Only two provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have not yet signed, and they were told they will only receive their shares if they sign by the end of the year.
McKenna said “it’s only fair” that the provinces that came forward to aid Canada meet its international duty to reduce emissions get to share the fund.
“We’re certainly working very hard with Saskatchewan and Manitoba and are very hopeful that they’ll sign up to the pan-Canadian plan on climate change,” McKenna said.
“But let’s be clear, all provinces and territories agreed in the Vancouver declaration with the prime minister that we needed to have a credible plan with serious actions that would meet our international obligations.”
“The pan-Canadian framework on climate change represents that plan and we will be supporting provinces and territories that have signed up for the plan.”