Greenest City Grants support local climate initiatives
The City is celebrating recent recipients of its Greenest City Grant program in the lead up to September’s call for applicants. The annual $250,000 fund helps local community organizations advance environmental and climate initiatives.
“While the City is taking action to reduce local carbon pollution and prepare for climate impacts, community groups and organizations are uniquely positioned to support this work through their direct connections with residents,” says Doug Smith, Deputy General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability. “Our Greenest City Grants program serves to fund and assist their efforts.”
City polling shows that approximately 90 per cent of Vancouver residents are concerned about climate change, yet are not always clear on the most effective solutions. With funding, community organizations can increase awareness of climate solutions and share ways individuals can take action.
Greenest City Grant Project Highlights from 2022-2023:
Create Climate Equity partners with Empower Me External website, opens in new tab to deliver translated, low-barrier, peer-to-peer education programs to help 1,000 immigrant and newcomer households better understand and improve their home energy systems and save money by reducing energy use. This program empowers diverse and multilingual communities to participate in climate solution by reducing their home’s carbon emissions, while improving comfort.
First Steps to a Healthy Climate External website, opens in new tab program consists of in-person and online workshops that inform and support young families to act on climate change. The workshops and educational research programs explore family-centered topics like talking to children about climate change, behaviour change, and preparing for climate emergencies.
Be the Change Earth Alliance runs Youth for Climate Justice External website, opens in new tab to equip Vancouver youth ages 12-18 with knowledge and tools to launch climate justice projects in their communities. Funding in 2022 supported 290 students with hands-on mentorship, training and seed money for their local climate action projects, which have included workshops to raise teacher awareness on climate justice, and educating students about participating in the civic process.
Greenest City Grants
Since 2016, Greenest City Grants have funded nearly 50 community-led environmental projects in Vancouver, such as promoting active transportation, practicing environmental stewardship and restoration, and increasing climate awareness.
Applications for Greenest City Grant funding will open in September. To learn more about eligibility visit: https://vancouver.ca/people-programs/green-grants
Cities have a key role to play in tackling climate change, as over 60 per cent of global carbon emissions are generated within urban centres. Cities can also be leaders in climate solutions as municipal governments regulate buildings, mobility and land-use planning.
These important decisions can provide benefits for the health and safety of residents, create connected communities and strengthen the economy.
Through the Climate Emergency Action Plan, the City identified actions to cut local carbon pollution in half by 2030. Actions focus on areas that will make the biggest difference; reducing carbon pollution from vehicles and buildings. With the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events, the City’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is helping prepare for the impacts of a changing climate.
“Nearly 42 per cent of Vancouver’s population are newcomers or immigrants. These households have unique needs when it comes to undertaking climate action. This grant supports our team to offer education in the appropriate language that meets communities where they are, and is delivered by trusted members of the community. All Vancouverites should have access to the benefits of climate programming–this grant builds equity into our sector and supports the City’s climate goals for all Vancouverites.” Yasmin Abraham, Program Manager for Create Climate Equity
“Through Be the Change Earth Alliance, I’ve been able to share my passion and the need for climate justice education with many educators. My team has collaborated to create a workshop that expresses our beliefs on what should be taught and how climate justice education can be taught effectively. As a result, we have shaped teachers’ perspectives on education by exploring how it can be used to create lasting change for the betterment of society.” Alexandra Chow, participant with Be the Change Earth Alliance
“The goal of First Steps to a Healthy Climate is to empower and provide uplifting possibilities for parenting with the health of children and the planet in mind. We’re thankful for the funding of the Greenest City Grant to help make this project a reality.” Laurel Hart, organizer of First Steps to a Healthy Climate