On November 23, 2022, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced up to $58 million in investments through the Climate Action and Awareness Fund to support 24 projects that will advance science and technology to combat climate change. Led by 12 universities and one non-governmental organization, these projects will strengthen Canada’s science capacity to identify, accelerate, and evaluate actions toward achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Recipient: Dalhousie University
Funding amount: $3,620,000
Climate action evaluation: Development of a bottom-up, activity-based transport network and emissions modelling system: This study will develop new data, methods, and tools to describe how people and goods move across the country, and the associated emissions in several Canadian municipalities. The outcomes will test various climate actions that can reduce transportation emissions.
Recipient: St. Francis Xavier University
Funding amount: $2,032,649
Quantifying the climate benefit of nature-based solutions in Canada ($1,557,149): This project will enhance the ability to use natural and agricultural systems to reduce carbon from the atmosphere. The project will improve understanding of how soils, ecosystems, and agricultural practices are represented in an open-source computer climate and ecosystem model to better assess the climate benefits of nature-based solutions.
Continuous methane mapping in western Canadian oil and gas towns ($475,500): This project will deploy new, Canadian-developed, cost-effective mobile sensors that will be mounted on municipal vehicles to measure methane emissions in western Canada. Results will help inform management of urban methane emissions to achieve net zero by 2050.
Recipient: Concordia University
Funding amount: $497,000
Development of optimal carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration strategies: This project aims to inform development of innovative carbon capture and utilization technologies to support achieving Canada’s net-zero carbon objectives. This project will aid Canadian decision-making in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Recipient: McGill University
Funding amount: $4,805,400
Urban mobility and emission inventories in a changing climate: An integrated modelling framework ($1,384,200):This project will improve our understanding of how climate change impacts transportation and emissions and vice versa. The project will provide a modelling framework and advanced tools to evaluate emissions reduction actions, and provide policymakers with knowledge, new data sources, and tools to inform policies.
Quantifying the impact of municipal organic waste management strategies on carbon footprints ($2,221,200): This project will analyze organic waste materials generated by Canadian cities, estimate the potential for recycling them to agricultural soils, and measure the related environmental impacts. These models can be adapted nationally to develop science-based, municipal waste-management policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
An analysis of the distribution, variability, and source apportionment of greenhouse gas emissions in Greater Montréal ($1,200,000): This project will analyze the greenhouse gas emissions of Greater Montréal using atmospheric measurements, surface mapping, and modelling. It will help to identify carbon dioxide and methane emission sources and how they change from year to year to help find opportunities to reduce these emissions.
Recipient: Université Laval
Funding amount: $3,700,000
Urbl-GES: Urban intelligence platform for greenhouse gas emissions monitoring: The goal of this project is to better understand greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation effectiveness across Canadian cities and municipalities. The UrbI-GES project aims to provide cities and municipalities with innovative ways to analyze the spatial, location-based correlations of what is emitted by households, what is done (behaviours and mitigation measures), and what is said (perceptions and opinions).
Recipient: University of Toronto
Funding amount: $8,970,000
Biomass burning in Canada: Addressing climate and air quality impacts ($2,970,000): This project will measure wildfire emissions and use atmospheric models to better understand these emissions under Canadian environmental conditions. The results will yield greater knowledge on the effects of wildfire biomass burning on climate change and air quality in Canada.
Wetlands as nature-based, climate-change solutions: Quantifying carbon-capture potential while building a stronger green economy ($6,000,000): This project will measure greenhouse gas emissions’ rates using a wetlands map, which will provide the evidence needed to support the use of wetlands as nature-based climate solutions.
Recipient: University of Waterloo
Funding amount: $15,887,980
Measuring and monitoring city and municipal level greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation effectiveness ($4,055,916): This project will help determine the current state of greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, measurement, monitoring, and planning in Canadian municipalities.
Can-Peat: Canada’s peatlands as nature-based solutions to climate change ($3,927,294): This project will create an open-access database, modelling peatland response to extreme weather conditions and disturbances caused by urban development and construction. This project will also train the next generation of peatland scientists, managers, and policymakers.
Residential Development Impact Scorecard for the Environment: An assessment tool for carbon stock and greenhouse gas impacts of residential developments ($2,625,000): This project aims to measure carbon that is absorbed and stored in urban terrestrial and wetland ecosystems, as well as greenhouse gas emissions from residential developments. The project outcomes will help safeguard urban carbon stores and decrease urban greenhouse gas emissions.
Robust decision-making using dynamic adaptive policy pathways for direct air capture deployment in Canada ($480,000): This project aims to develop a decision-support framework for “direct air capture”—technology that deploys equipment to directly capture carbon from the atmosphere. The project will inform policy and plans to develop and deploy direct air capture technology in Canada.
Mitigation of methane emission hot-spots from municipal landfills ($1,099,770): This project aims to develop methods to reduce landfill emissions using methane-consuming microbes from landfill-cover soils. This project targets the emissions from Canadian landfills and provides information, tools, and methods for practical solutions.
Solutionscapes: Designing climate and water-smart agricultural solutions in complex working landscapes ($3,700,000): This project aims to inform achieving a net-zero future while also prioritizing water quality and healthy ecosystems. It will take a novel and multidisciplinary approach to developing nature-based climate solutions that integrate food, energy, and water systems.
Recipient: Western University
Funding amount: $3,786,000
Improved multi-scale greenhouse gas emissions modelling from urban environments to enhance mitigation strategies: A policy framework will be developed for financial incentives to promote efficient building management practices, such as the use of renewable and alternative energy technologies. The project outcomes will assist municipalities across Canada in developing and implementing greenhouse gas reductions and climate adaptation strategies for infrastructure.
Recipient: Carleton University
Funding amount: $1,489,000
Bending the Curve with NETs: Developing a new modelling framework for negative emissions technologies: This project will use modelling to investigate how negative emission technologies can be integrated within Canada’s energy system. This will help identify investment opportunities and longer-term targets for cost and performance to enable sustainable deployment of these technologies as part of net-zero strategies.
Recipient: Canada Green Building Council
Funding amount: $1,712,158
Burying carbon in buildings: Advancing carbon capture and utilization in cementitious building materials: This project aims to identify the potential role of carbon capture and utilization in concrete building materials to lower Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. This will inform recommendations for measuring the uptake of carbon at different life-cycle stages of cement building materials.
Recipient: University of Calgary
Funding amount: $6,096,504
Assessing sustainable, equitable, and rapidly deployable carbon dioxide removal technologies ($4,199,780): This project will investigate sustainable, equitable, cost-effective, and rapid deployment of appropriate carbon dioxide removal technologies that can contribute to Canada’s 2050 net-zero goal.
Calgary urban methane emissions measurement testbed ($1,896,724): This project will improve understanding of urban methane emissions using new measurements and modelling that will help to better quantify urban methane emissions and emissions reporting. This will build the capacity to establish emissions’ baselines, identify opportunities to reduce emissions, and track progress.
Recipient: University of Alberta
Funding amount: $498,750
Urban transportation emissions and greenhouse gas emissions: Technologies and behavioural shifts toward zero emissions: This project will build necessary tools and methodologies for analyzing, understanding, and developing transportation decarbonization pathways in cold-climate cities.
Recipient: University of British Columbia
Funding amount: $5,286,160
Integrated development of transport data, model and community outreach tool for urban and rural regions ($2,852,500): This project aims to provide insights on the impact of COVID-19 on travel behaviour, and its likely longer-term impacts, on the Metro Vancouver and Central Okanagan regions of British Columbia. The project will develop new data and models to predict land use, vehicle ownership, travel and in-home activity patterns, and transport emissions.
Urban freight system emissions: Improved characterization for mitigation planning ($2,433,660): This project will enable us to characterize greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, dispersion, and toxicity from various modes of urban freight transport systems. Using new and improved tools, the project will conduct case studies to demonstrate the potential for alternative fuels and policies to reduce emissions.