reThink Green to provide FCM emission reduction training

MANITOULIN—reThink Green has been granted $247,000 in funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to work with municipalities across Northeastern Ontario, including several on Manitoulin Island, and help them reach significant carbon emissions reduction targets.

The grant is part of Transition 2050, an initiative offered through FCM’s Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP). Ten organizations have been selected to build a network of communities and support them as they develop long-term plans and projects contributing to a low carbon transition by 2050, in alignment with the target date as set out by the Paris Agreement.

Participating municipalities will undertake commitments to deep emissions reductions through peer learning, strategic planning and operational implementation, while leveraging lessons learned from communities facing similar challenges.

reThink Green has developed the first phase of the project with municipalities from Manitoulin Island and the North Shore of Lake Huron. This project emerged from “a recognition that everyone has a role to play in reducing our impact on the environment. Small to medium communities can be effective leaders in the transition to a low-carbon economy,” says Rebecca Danard, executive director of reThink Green.

Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands Mayor Alan MacNevin says his community has benefitted from working with the program over the past year. “We’re pretty serious about trying to improve our carbon footprint and to save electricity costs to put money back into programming for our citizens. Working with reThink Green is a great opportunity for small towns to benefit from their skills and expertise in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
reThink Green will partner with the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR) to develop tailored training for the participating communities. OCCIAR Director Al Douglas stated that, “this initiative will capitalize on the strong social fabric in Northern Ontario as we collaborate to reduce our contribution to climate change and work toward resilient and low-carbon economies. MIRARCO and OCCIAR are excited to be working with reThink Green on this Northern Ontario climate change initiative that signals our commitment to tackling climate change.”

The effects of climate change are already being experienced in Canadian cities and communities across the country as extreme weather events, such as heat waves and flooding, become more common. That’s why FCM has provided grants to 10 organizations that will help participating municipalities of all sizes and from all regions of Canada to reach significant carbon emissions reduction targets.

The grants, known as Transition 2050, will fund training and support delivered by partner organizations to groups of municipalities to foster deep emissions reductions. Transition 2050 grants, covering funding to a maximum of $400,000 and up to 80 percent of eligible project costs, are provided through FCM’s MCIP and are funded by the government of Canada.

The funding will enable municipalities to undertake commitments to deep emissions reductions through peer learning, strategic planning and operational implementation. Grant recipients will build a network sharing similar challenges and solutions in addressing existing carbon reduction barriers. 

Through this initiative, municipalities across Canada will work together to develop long-term plans and projects, contributing to a low-carbon transition by 2050 in alignment with the target date as set out by the Paris Agreement. It will also contribute to carbon emissions reduction in support of the federal Pan-Canadian Framework.

Funding is being provided to reThink Green to enhance municipal staff literacy on climate mitigation and developing municipal energy profiles, greenhouse gas inventories and climate policy resources for the region. Included in this is the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands, Township of Billings, Municipality of Central Manitoulin and the Town of Gore Bay, along with Blind River, Spanish, Sables-Spanish Rivers, and the Municipality of French River.