Low Carbon Cities Canada Innovation Center Will Accelerate Urban Climate Solutions

The City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) will be working with Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Renewable Cities program to form a new regional Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) Innovation Center. The center will work toward accelerating urban climate solutions through research, capacity building, and innovative financial tools.

“Many promising urban low-carbon solutions fail to make it from proven concept to implementation due to a whole range of different factors – including difficulty accessing capital and markets, risk aversion, and policy barriers,” Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, said when announcing the new center. “SFU’s new urban climate center will help overcome these barriers by investing in, de-risking, demonstrating, and scaling up local de-carbonizing solutions. The result will be investment-ready projects that can be taken to the next level by private or public sector partners.”

The LC3 Center is being funded through a $21.7 million CAD ( ~$17.1 million US) endowment. The endowment is part of a $183 million CAD initiative called Low Carbon Cities Canada, which is funded by the Government of Canada. The non-profit center is expected to launch in September 2021 and will seek to gather input from a range of stakeholders –  including local and provincial government, industry, non-profit organizations, and the finance sector, in order to ensure the Center prioritizes local needs and opportunities.

“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 per cent by 2030,” said Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart. “The Federal funding to create the LC3 center 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.”