Renewable Cities and Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue have been selected by the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to support development of a low carbon innovation centre to accelerate urban climate solutions across Metro Vancouver through research, capacity building and innovative financial tools.
The new centre will be seeded by a generous $21.7 million endowment from the federal government to identify, finance and scale up local climate solutions, such as building retrofits and electrification of transportation.
Renewable Cities at SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, along with partners WCS Engagement + Planning, Rhiza Capital and Lidstone & Company, was awarded the task of establishing the Centre by:
Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, stated, “Canadians want cleaner air and cleaner water for their children and grandchildren. The research and collaboration that will take place at the Metro Vancouver LC3 Centre will help deliver just that, while creating good jobs here in Vancouver, fighting climate change, and protecting our planet.”
The top priorities for establishing this new independent entity are:
Renewable Cities has assembled a team of top nonprofit start-up, impact investment, governance and community climate action strategists to establish this organization over the next year. Advisors with the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, BC Government and private sector will help guide development. The team leading the establishment of the LC3 Innovation Centre includes:
CORE PROJECT TEAM
The seed funding for the Metro Vancouver Zero Emission Innovation Centre is part of a $183 million endowment by the Federal Government to support a pan-Canadian network consisting of seven Low Carbon Cities Centres (LC3) in large urban regions with the aim of helping Canada meet its 2030 and 2050 GHG reduction targets while supporting equity, resilience and prosperity. Centres are expected to use the investment capital to finance their work and match this initial federal endowment with matching contributions from other public, private and social sector sources.
The LC3 initiative was inspired by the work of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF), established in the 1990s with a $23 million endowment by the City of Toronto as an arm’s length organization with a long-term mandate to steward and finance deep emission reductions across the City. TAF has catalyzed some of North America’s most extensive building retrofits.
Now The Atmospheric Fund serving greater Toronto and Hamilton, TAF led development of LC3 Canada with the support of a broad array of organizations across the country, including Renewable Cities and SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. Support from the Clean Economy Fund created by Canadian philanthropists was vital to realizing this novel network. Long-standing Renewable Cities supporters—the North Family Foundation and Sitka Foundation—contributed to this fund. The Renewable Cities-led team is looking forward to engaging with players in local and provincial governments, post-secondary institutions, private sector, utilities, grant making and philanthropy, First Nations, and non-governmental organizations to harness the immense intellectual, social and financial capital of the region through a new institution to bend the carbon curve to zero.
Working off of the $21.7 million endowment through investment proceeds and impact investment, the new centre’s work will start modestly. It is expected to grow steadily through partnership, programming investment, leveraging and innovative financing.
For more information on the Metro Vancouver Zero Emission Innovation Centre, please contact Brad Doff, Project Manager and Analyst for SFU’s Renewable Cities.