May 14, 2021

This announcement was created by the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (which is incubated by the Ottawa Community Foundation), a member of the Low Carbon Cities Canada network.

The clock is ticking on climate change and the stakes are high. We know most of the solutions for cutting carbon and much of what the future needs to look like. More than new solutions, we need a better way to align potential — across actors, sectors and systems. Cities are at the leading edge of developing and deploying the low-carbon solutions we need for a net-zero future. 

The Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) is pleased to announce the launch of the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF), endowed with a $21.7 million investment through a recent transfer from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and funded by the Government of Canada. OCAF exists to ensure that low-carbon solutions reach their full potential in Ottawa. By removing barriers to climate solutions, strengthening partnerships, and supporting effective business models, OCAF will accelerate Ottawa’s transition to an equitable, carbon-neutral future.

“We thank the Government of Canada for this timely and strategic investment in climate action. OCAF approaches carbon reduction through cross-sector partnerships – public, private, philanthropic – to deliver benefits to our community,” says Steve Winkelman, OCAF’s Executive Director. “We must work together to ensure that: our homes are efficient and affordable, our neighbourhoods are resilient and safe for pedestrians, our transportation systems are low-carbon, and we are creating good local jobs to sustain us in the future.” 

Incubated by the OCF, OCAF is a member of the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network, a partnership of seven local Centres led by FCM. OCAF’s endowment is part of a $183 million initiative to support cities in reducing carbon emissions, while improving public health and local economies. The LC3 network will enable the scaling of local solutions through the sharing of experience and expertise. It is a national investment in municipal climate action to meet Canada’s 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets. 

Held on Friday, May 14, 2021, OCAF’s launch included an overview of the LC3 Centre’s approach by Mr. Winkelman, as well as a panel discussion with Ottawa climate leaders, including the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre and Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; City of Ottawa Councillor Scott Moffatt; and Ana Gonzalez Guerrero of the Youth Climate Lab. It was moderated by OCAF Advisory Board member, Diana Fox Carney.


“An urban climate centre in Ottawa creates jobs, supports energy efficiency, helps save Canadians money and lowers emissions. This is how we get to net zero.” 
– The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources

“The launch of the Ottawa Climate Action Fund, a member of the LC3 network, is key to making Ottawa the greenest capital. This federal investment will support Ottawa’s transition to a cleaner, more resilient and inclusive future for our kids and grandkids. Encouraging local solutions to local challenges will result in practical solutions to climate change, creating more jobs and helping drive Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050.” 
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Local climate solutions are critical to meeting Canada’s climate goals. This investment will help the City of Ottawa reach its full emissions-cutting power. We already see our cities leading the way on low carbon innovation, and this investment will help us go further — to build green and innovative solutions that build better lives for Canadians.”
– Garth Frizzell, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

“Ottawa City Council has set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. We can’t get there alone. OCAF will play a vital role in engaging the community in climate solutions by bringing people and investment together. We’re excited to work with OCAF to accelerate Ottawa’s transition to an equitable, low carbon future.” 
– Ottawa City Councillor Scott Moffatt

“The Ottawa Community Foundation exists to strengthen our communities. For us, this means population-level change: driving negative socio-economic indicators to zero and positive ones to 100 percent. This is a city-building mandate and as Ottawa’s foundation, our role is incubating backbone organizations like OCAF to make this change possible. Alongside OCAF, I invite public, private and other philanthropic leaders to opt-in to partnerships where collectively we can build our city to its potential.” 
– Marco Pagani, CEO of the Ottawa Community Foundation

"Vancity Community Investment Bank uses the tools of finance to accelerate investment in affordable and sustainable communities. We welcome OCAF as an important new player in the carbon-reduction space and look forward to working with them to unlock ambitious solutions to climate change."  
– Jonathan Frank, Head of Clean Energy, VCIB

About Low Carbon Cities Canada

The Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network is a partnership between seven local centres — Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax —and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities intended to accelerate urban climate solutions.

The LC3 initiative helps cities reduce their carbon footprint by identifying, capitalizing and testing local solutions such as building retrofits, distributed renewable power, zero waste circular economy, electrification of transportation, shared mobility, and integrating transportation with land use patterns.

About the Ottawa Climate Action Fund

The Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF) is a local climate centre being incubated by the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), a philanthropic organization that works with donors and the community at large to bring about positive, systemic, and sustainable change. The Foundation continues to build on its astute financial management, high-quality donor services, strategic grantmaking and innovative partnerships.  


For more information about this event and/or OCAF, please contact:

  • The Ottawa Climate Action Fund: Steve Winkelman, Executive Director,
  • The Ottawa Community Foundation: Rebecca Aird, Director of Strategic and Community Initiatives,


Join OCAF in bringing Carbon Down and Community Up. 

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