The earth’s climate is changing and Canada’s municipalities are at the forefront of both the impacts and the opportunities to act. Supported by the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP), municipalities are meeting these challenges head on, building more resilient communities, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate-induced changes.

To date, MCIP has provided more than $50 million in funding to support over 320 local climate action projects, developed new training and resource materials to respond to specific challenges and provided coaching and training to local leaders. This report covers activities from April 2020 to March 2021.

YEAR 5 RESULTS

Three light-green rectangular dollar bills are stacked on top of one another. The first dollar bill has a dark-green dollar sign visible on the front.

$57 million approved to support local climate action
$43 million has been distributed directly to municipalities
$7 million is supporting employment in smaller towns

 

A dark-green checkmark sits inside a light-green crimped circle.

186 (of 322) projects completed to date
555 (1,413 total) awareness raising and technical assistance events and activities delivered
4,136 (22,000+ total) individuals benefited from climate focused programming

 

A laptop made of light-green lines sits with the screen open, showing a dark-green text box with an ellipsis on screen.

299 hours (628 hours total) of coaching provided to local climate staff
34 (120+ total) training resources developed specifically for municipalities
385 (798 total) technical assistance activities by MCIP and MCIP partners

 


A light-green outline of a graduation cap with a dark-green tassel hanging from leftmost corner.

93 municipal leaders from 82 municipalities and regional districts across Canada participated in the Climate Leadership Course for Elected Officials
78% of course participants surveyed reported an increase in skills and knowledge at reducing GHG emissions
81% reported an increase in skills and knowledge of climate change adaptation

MCIP’s impact

Resilient communities

MCIP is a collection of success stories. One of its greatest achievements has been its ability to move the needle at the local level for the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change in all types of municipalities and sectors.

Thirty-five per cent of MCIP-supported municipalities with completed adaptation projects have created an adaptation plan, and three-quarters have started to implement it.

A pair of animated circle graphs that show the change in the percentage of total municipalities with a local action plan, informed by relevant municipal and community stakeholders, developed and approved by council and the percentage of total municipalities implementing a GHG emissions reduction local action plan from the start of the program and to date. The left-hand graphic shows the percentage of total municipalities with a local action plan, begins green and changes to blue as the number grows: at the start of the program, 22% of municipalities had drafted a local action plan. To date, that number has grown to 43%. The right-hand graphic shows the percentage of total municipalities implementing a GHG emissions reduction local action plan, from the start of the program and to date, begins orange and changes to red as the number grows: at the start of the program, 18% of municipalities were implementing their adaptation plan, to date, that number has grown to 31%.  Below each animated circle graph is a horizontal bar graph. The horizontal bar graph on the left shows the number of total municipalities with a local action plan, informed by relevant municipal and community stakeholders, developed and approved by council and the percentage of total municipalities implementing a GHG emissions reduction local action plan. The Y axis of this bar graph has two notches: the top entry is “start of program,” and is colored green. The bottom entry is “to date” and is colored blue. The X axis of this bar graph displays the number of municipalities and is made up of six notches that increase by increments of 10: from left to right, the first notch is zero, the second notch is 10, the third notch is 20, the fourth notch is 30, the fifth notch is 40 and the sixth notch is 50. The higher green bar, “start of program,” shows 22 municipalities. The lower blue bar, “to date,” shows 43 municipalities. The horizontal bar graph on the right shows the number of total municipalities implementing a GHG emissions reduction local action

To date, 86% of MCIP-supported municipalities with completed mitigation projects have a GHG reduction plan approved by council in place, and more than half of those communities have started to implement it. 

A pair of animated circle graphs that show the change in the percentage of total municipalities with a drafted adaptation plan and the percentage of total municipalities implementing an adaptation plan from the start of the program and to date. The left-hand graphic shows the percentage of total municipalities with a drafted adaptation plan, begins green and changes to blue as the number grows: at the start of the program, 21% of municipalities had drafted an adaptation plan, to date, that number has grown to 42%. The right-hand graphic shows the percentage of total municipalities implementing an adaptation plan, begins red and changes to deep purple as the number grows: at the start of the program, 18% of municipalities were implementing their adaptation plan, to date, that number has grown to 31%.  Below each animated circle graph is a horizontal bar graph. The horizontal bar graph on the left shows the number of total municipalities with a drafted adaptation plan. The Y axis of this bar graph has two notches: the top entry is “start of program,” and is colored green. The bottom entry is “to date” and is colored blue. The X axis of this bar graph displays the number of municipalities and is made up of six notches that increase by increments of 10: from left to right, the first notch is zero, the second notch is 10, the third notch is 20, the fourth notch is 30, the fifth notch is 40 and the sixth notch is 50. The higher green bar, “start of program,” shows 21 municipalities. The lower blue bar, “to date,” shows 42 municipalities. The horizontal bar graph on the right shows the number of total municipalities implementing an adaptation plan. The Y axis of this bar graph has two notches: the top entry is “start of program,” and is colored red. The bottom entry is “to date” and is colored deep purple. The X axis of this bar graph displays the number of municipalities and is made up of six notches that increase by increments of 10: from left to right, the first notch is zero, the second notch is 10, the third notch

Through MCIP, municipalities have been able to explore risks and opportunities, and readied their communities with plans, staff and internal support to take much greater steps towards resiliency.

Climate impacts

MCIP is supporting the increasing number of municipalities that are making strong commitments to reduce GHG emissions over the short and long term.

A cloud outlined in light green with the characters “CO2” sitting inside in dark green text. A light-green arrow under the cloud points downwards.


Expected and committed GHG emission reductions from MCIP-funded projects:

977

Tonnes of expected GHG emissions reductions per year

Equivalent to 14,655 tree seedlings grown for 10 years

*These results derive from 7 municipal capital projects completed to date. It is expected that 21 more climate change mitigation capital projects will be completed before the end of the program.

14,690

Tonnes in short term (2025-2030) GHG emissions reductions commitments

Equivalent to 220,357 tree seedlings grown for 10 years

*Results are from 11 municipal plans completed to date. It is expected that 32 more climate change mitigation plans will be completed before the end of the program.

Climate change adaptation

Three dark-green shapes sit together, a circle on top, a triangle in the bottom-right, and a square at the bottom-left. Light-green arrows connect the shapes, one connecting the circle to the triangle, one connecting the triangle to the box, and another connecting the box to the circle.

As a result of completed adaptation capital projects to date, 11 municipalities are collectively saving over $2 M annually in capital expenditures, maintenance and refurbishment costs, improvements that will help more Canadians withstand future extreme weather events.

When fully implemented:

1,657,142

Individuals protected from climate change impacts including extreme weather, extreme heat and flooding to date

Equivalent to 4% of the Canadian population

*These results derive from 9 municipal climate adaptation plans completed to date. It is expected that 33 more plans will be completed before the end of the program.

Leveraging MCIP resources

Before a shovel can go into the ground, municipalities need to assess, plan, study and pilot local solutions that feed into larger infrastructure projects. That takes time and money but investing in large-scale infrastructure projects that address the causes and impacts of climate change is often beyond the financial capacity of most municipalities. MCIP is helping to bridge that gap.

To date, 39 municipalities and three organizations have leveraged their MCIP-funded climate projects to access more than $189 M in additional federal, provincial, municipal, NGO and private sector funds. MCIP also built local climate resilience by offering municipalities of all sizes access to larger government resources, such as the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). Some examples are included below.

A dark-green outline of a maple leaf is flanked by two dark-green sparkles, the first sits in the top-left corner, the second in the bottom-right.
The City of Surrey, BC received DMAF funding of $76.6 M to develop its coastal flooding and ecosystem protection plans.
A dark-green outline of a maple leaf is flanked by two dark-green sparkles, the first sits in the top-left corner, the second in the bottom-right.
Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) provided $12.7 M to the City of Windsor, ON to develop its Active Transportation Master Plan Study and a flood mitigation strategy.
A dark-green outline of a maple leaf is flanked by two dark-green sparkles, the first sits in the top-left corner, the second in the bottom-right.
DMAF also provided $10.7 M towards the construction of and improvements to four infrastructure assets in the Town of Tecumseh, ON to reduce the impact of severe storms and flooding.

The flow of MCIP funding: Adaptation

A Sankey diagram showing how money invested by the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program flows in its lifespan. The diagram begins on the left and is shaped like a cone, growing larger towards the right. Above the diagram are four labels: the leftmost label is “MCIP’s investment.” Immediately to the right is the second label, “Project type.” Further to the right is the third label, “Additional funding received.” The fourth and final label is on the far right, “Source of additional funding.” Each label is connected to a vertical line that leads downwards into the diagram itself, defining which stage the money represented by the diagram is at. The leftmost section is dark green and includes a small icon of three dark-green shapes sitting together: a circle on top, a triangle in the bottom-right, and a square at the bottom-left. Light-green arrows connect the shapes, one connecting the circle to the triangle, one connecting the triangle to the box, and another connecting the box to the circle. Below the icon are the words “Climate change adaptation” and the dollar amount of $3.1 million, representing MCIP’s investment. Five sections break off, flowing to the right. The color is a gradient, starting off as light green before shifting to yellow. These five sections end at the “Project type” label and are each capped by a different color: from top to bottom, dark blue, light blue, red, orange, and green. Immediately to the right of these colored caps are project types and dollar amounts. From top to bottom: Plans, $926K, Studies, $970K, Capital projects, $750K, Climate change staff grant, $120K, and Capacity building cohort (CAMN), $401K. These five sections are now colored light green and again flow to the right before ending at “Additional funding received” section, separated by dark green caps. Each of the five sections now has a new dollar amount. From top to bottom: $86M, $36M, $50K, $85K, $26.5M. The top section is the thickest as it represents the largest dollar amount. The section below it is second thi

The flow of MCIP funding: GHG emissions reduction

A Sankey diagram showing how money invested by the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program flows in its lifespan. The diagram begins on the left and is shaped like a cone, growing larger towards the right. Above the diagram are four labels: the leftmost label is “MCIP’s investment.” Immediately to the right is the second label, “Project type.” Further to the right is the third label, “Additional funding received.” The fourth and final label is on the far right, “Source of additional funding.” Each label is connected to a vertical line that leads downwards into the diagram itself, defining which stage the money represented by the diagram is at. The leftmost section is dark green and includes a small icon of a cloud outlined in light green with the characters “CO2” sitting inside in dark green text. A light-green arrow under the cloud points downwards. Below the icon are the words “GHG emissions reductions” and the dollar amount of $4.3 million, representing MCIP’s investment. Five sections break off, flowing to the right. The color is a gradient, starting off as light green before shifting to yellow. These five sections end at the “Project type” label and are each capped by a different color: from top to bottom, dark blue, light blue, red, orange, and green. Immediately to the right of these colored caps are project types and dollar amounts. From top to bottom: Plans, $807K, Studies, $1.4M, Capital projects, $1M, Climate change staff grant, $125K, and Capacity building cohort (T2050), $986K. These five sections are now colored light green and again flow to the right before ending at “Additional funding received” section, separated by dark green caps. Each of the five sections now has a new dollar amount. From top to bottom: $13.9M, $13.3M, $430K, $517K, $2.1M. The top section is the thickest as it represents the largest dollar amount. The section below it is second thickest. The bottom section is third thickest. The middle section is the thinnest, and the section directly below that one is the second thinnes

Supporting PCP members

Many MCIP-funded communities are also members of the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program, a partnership between the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and ICLEI Canada. With support from MCIP’s Regional Climate Advisors (RCA), 76 PCP member municipalities have committed to reducing GHG emissions by a total of 1,488,814 TCO2e by 2025/2030, the equivalent of almost 25 million tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

A green parallelogram with extended corners in the bottom-left and top-right. The overall shape is separated into five smaller parallelogram sections. The first four sections are evenly sized and formed into two stacks, each a pair of parallelograms. These sections make up the first two-thirds of the entire parallelogram, from left to right. The fifth and final section is a parallelogram on the right-hand side of the overall shape. The top-left section is light green and features white text, “1,032 milestones achieved.” The section immediately to the right is a slightly darker green with white text, “178 new PCP members.” The bottom right section is the same shade as the last, the white text states “502 technical training activities.” The next section immediately to the right is a darker green and white text saying “369 awareness-raising activities.” The last section on the righthand side of the parallelogram is a very dark green, with white text stating “1.4 million tCO2e in committed GHG emissions reductions by 2025/2030.”

The MCIP network

MCIP has built a Canada-wide network of municipalities and organizations committed to climate action.  This active capacity building network has worked together on grant-funded projects, communities of practice, peer-to-peer sharing and virtual events.

MCIP’s national network of over 30 training partners continues to support more than 550 municipalities and First Nations communities with expertise in deeply reducing GHG emissions and adapting to climate change. Through this network of national and regional organizations, MCIP has increased its reach to municipalities of all sizes across Canada.

Our partners deliver education and practical support for municipal staff and decision-makers, ensuring they have the skill set and tools necessary for planning and action.

A minimalist map of Canada, colored light grey with thin white lines separating the provinces and territories. A legend displaying the meaning of colors and symbols found on the map sits in the top-left corner above the Yukon. The legend is made up of four parts: from top to bottom, a title, “Legend,” a burgundy dot representing FCM (Ottawa, ON), a short purple line with a purple dot on the right end with text “Direct funding to capacity building partners (32)”, and a short green line with a green dot on the right end with text “Capacity-building support to communities and other organizations (633).” On the right-hand corner of the map, situated above northern Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador, sits a circular inset map highlighting Ottawa and the surrounding regions of southern Ontario and western Quebec. There is text at the bottom of the inset map reading “Detail of Ontario and Quebec.” The bottom half of the map of Canada is filled with slightly curved lines, originating from many points, spreading out towards the north, the south, the west, and the east. There are 32 purple lines and 633 green lines.

The impact of COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. To ensure the safety of staff, partners and the communities where we work, FCM suspended international and domestic travel. To align with national and provincial restrictions, in-person program activities were swiftly transitioned to virtual platforms with only limited impact on planned Year 5 capacity building activities. 

Due to some pandemic-related delays, Infrastructure Canada granted MCIP an additional year of program implementation to ensure that municipalities were able to complete their climate related activities. As a result, 67 MCIP-funded municipalities took advantage of the extension.  

In spite of the many challenges that municipalities faced and continue to face as a result of the pandemic, MCIP grant recipients never lost sight of their goal to build more resilient communities. They continued their commitments to a green recovery at the local level and, in many cases, strengthened them.

Building Climate Readiness
The past five years have resulted in many inspiring success stories, a few of which are shared here. MCIP has funded projects in many sectors that are and will be impacted by climate change, including energy, stormwater and watershed management, building infrastructure, waste, water, natural assets and transportation.
Aerial view of the South Saskatchewan River as it passes through Saskatoon’s Nutana neighborhood.
Measuring the value of natural assets

The City of Saskatoon assessed the value of the ecosystem services provided by its green infrastructure by assigning measurable values to its natural assets. The city’s Natural Capital Asset Valuation pilot project generated an inventory of local natural assets, identified the specific ecosystem services they provide, and assigned a financial value to those services.

Water street in Gastown and Vancouver
Climate change adaptation through an equity lens

Vulnerable groups are often more exposed to climate hazards and are less able to adapt to the impacts of climate change. To better understand the experiences and needs of their own at-risk residents, specifically in terms of extreme heat and wildfire smoke, the City of Vancouver engaged with groups whose voices are not often heard in public decision-making on climate change, such as seniors, low-income residents, those with physical and mental health conditions, and people who are experiencing homelessness.

The Coastline of Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories
A northern solution for community adaptation

The NWT Association of Communities (NWTAC) organized a climate change forum to bring together communities, governments and other partners in an interactive format to move the climate adaptation agenda forward. 

Resources
MCIP has built momentum for climate action by developing a body of knowledge and tools that municipalities across Canada can easily access. Through Year 5, MCIP and its partners finalized more than 34 tools, factsheets and reports featuring lessons learned and promising practices. Some of these resources are highlighted below.
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Climate resilience and asset management

This series is intended for elected officials and municipal practitioners to learn more about why climate integration is important and how to get started.

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Climate in focus

This five-video series explores the necessary components of climate action in municipalities. You’ll hear directly from mayors, councillors and climate experts about the steps you can take to help your municipality become more climate resilient.

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Guides and other tools

Talking it through: Guide for local government staff on climate adaptation
This guide helps municipal staff talk to decision-makers and elected officials about adapting to the local impacts of climate change.

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Improve home energy with a virtual consultation

The Virtual Home Energy Check-Up tool helps homeowners identify cost-effective home energy improvements that cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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Learn how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency retrofit programs

This toolkit helps municipalities design residential energy efficiency retrofit initiatives, such as local improvement charge (LIC) or property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing programs.

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The Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program is a five-year $75-million program, delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.

© 2022 Federation of Canadian Municipalities