April 26, 2004

EcoAction realigned to support GHG-reducing community projects

Environment Canada's EcoAction program has marked a turning point with the latest round of 52 approved projects, which are receiving a total of $2 million. The program has been realigned to support the One-Tonne Challenge, the recently-announced public outreach program that involves community action and national promotion to engage Canadians in reducing their personal greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one tonne, or about 20% (ELW March 29-April 5).

By limiting this most recent submission round to projects with a GHG emissions reduction theme, EcoAction begins a process that will see the program earmark 50% of available funding to support community projects that are consistent with the objectives of the One-Tonne Challenge. The other 50% of EcoAction funds will continue to support other priority environmental issues such as action on water quality, air quality, habitat and species at risk.

Some examples of the 52 successful projects include:

- a farm-based GHG emissions-reduction campaign in Nova Scotia's Annapolis River watershed;

- urban composting activities, and a project to encourage workplace carpooling, both in Montreal;

- a solar mapping project in Bathurst and a One-Tonne Workplace Challenge in Fredericton, NB;

- a Sustainable Energy Quick Actions project in areas around Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo;

- the Mow Down Pollution project, exchanging old, polluting lawn mowers across Ontario for newer, cleaner models;

- promotion of sustainable transportation at various locations in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba;

- a commuter challenge project involving businesses and schools in Calgary;

- a GHG emissions reduction program targeting medium-sized businesses and institutions in Vancouver; and

- anti-idling campaigns in St John's, Nfld; Sarnia, Ont (focusing on trucks), Pembroke, Ont, Winnipeg and Whitehorse, Yukon.

Since 1995, the EcoAction program has funded more than 1,450 projects in support of environmental issues such as clean air, climate change, water quality and nature conservation. To be eligible, projects must encourage community action and awareness, respond to community needs, and obtain matching funding or in-kind support from other sponsors. Submission deadlines for proposals to the EcoAction program are February 1st and October 1st of each year.

A complete list of the recently approved projects can be found at www.ec.gc.ca and information on the EcoAction program can be found at www.ec.gc.ca/ecoaction.

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