June 18, 2007

Ontario provides $220M to help municipalities reduce GHG emissions

PETERBOROUGH, ONT-The Ontario government is providing $200 million in loans and $20 million in grants over the next three years to help municipalities reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. "Municipal governments have shown that they want to be part of the solution and this challenge fund will help them put good ideas into practice and bring emissions down," said Premier Dalton McGuinty. The Municipal Eco Challenge Fund will provide $20 million in grants to municipal governments for projects to reduce GHG emissions. The government will consult with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and other stakeholders in implementing the program. "Municipal governments understand that we all have a part to play in preserving the environment. Initiatives, like the Municipal Eco Challenge Fund, will help municipalities continue to take action on climate change," said AMO president Doug Reycraft. In addition, Infrastructure Ontario will also provide $200 million through its OSIFA loan program to finance municipal projects that reduce GHG emissions. The OSIFA program offers affordable loans to help public-sector clients build and renew essential local infrastructure. This saves municipal budgets money on interest charges and transaction fees. It is also expected that projects will pay for themselves quickly from energy savings. By some estimates, buildings account for nearly 40% of GHG emissions. Many buildings waste more energy because heating, cooling and lighting systems are inefficient, or walls, roofs and windows are not well insulated.

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