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B.C. communities to receive new annual climate action funding

Each to recieve at least $38,000 annually for next 3 years
The Sparks Lake wildfire shown on June 30, 2021. Beginning in 2022, the B.C. government will provide communities with at least $38,000 a year to fight climate change. (BC Wildfire Service photo)

B.C. communities will soon have greater means to tackle climate change at a local level, following a new provincial funding announcement Monday (May 16).

For the next three years, rural and urban communities and eight Modern Treaty Nations will receive at least $38,000 annually to lower carbon emissions and fight the effects of the rapidly changing climate.

Larger communities will receive even more, depending on their populations.

“The funding will help reduce emissions locally. It will also help communities that want to prepare or adapt to climate impacts,” George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy, said speaking from North Vancouver Monday.

This could mean communities investing in low or zero-carbon transportation like bike lanes and transit, or preparing themselves for future flooding, heat domes or wildfires, Heyman said.

To be eligible, communities must show their actions align with the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 or the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy. They are also required to sign onto the B.C. Climate Action Charter, complete a number of reporting requirements and match funding for local climate initiatives equal to 20 per cent of their provincial allocation.

Communities previously relied on a carbon tax rebate program for any climate-related funding from the province. This sometimes amounted to less than $10,000 a year for smaller communities, according to Heyman.

Over three years, the province will be providing communities with a total of $76 million out of its 2022 budget. How much each one recieves will be announced by the end of the summer.

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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

Hi, I'm a provincial reporter with Black Press Media, where I've worked since 2020.
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