Don't have an account? Create one now
Green Municipal Fund

FAQs: Partners for Climate Protection program

These FAQs provide answers to your questions about the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program, offered by FCM and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.

About PCP

What is the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program?

The Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program is a network of Canadian municipal governments that have committed to reducing greenhouse gases and acting on climate change. Members work through a defined five-milestone framework using internationally recognized protocols to achieve these goals. PCP is a partnership between FCM and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.

How can I check whether my municipality is a member of PCP?

See our list of PCP members.

My municipality is not a member of PCP. How do I join?

PCP membership is free to all Canadian municipalities. A council resolution is all it takes to enroll your municipality as a member of PCP.

Why should my municipality join the PCP program?

The PCP program provides a five-milestone framework to help municipalities develop strategies to cut GHGs and energy consumption. PCP members have access to resources and information, including case studies, templates, and technical assistance. Members are offered valuable opportunities to share experiences with more than 200 participating municipalities, and with an international network of municipal governments. The PCP milestone framework and toolkit can help municipalities to develop a business case for climate protection, build collaboration among multiple community stakeholders and engage the public on issues surrounding climate change and local sustainability.

What are the PCP milestones?

PCP members use a five-milestone framework to reduce GHG emissions. The framework is a performance-based model that provides an opportunity for municipal capacity building. The five milestones are:

  1. Creating a GHG emissions inventory and forecast
  2. Setting an emissions reductions target
  3. Developing a local action plan
  4. Implementing the local action plan or a set of activities
  5. Monitoring progress and reporting results

What are corporate and community emissions?

Many municipalities distinguish their emission sources based on responsibility. Corporate emissions are those that are under the direct operational or financial control of the local government. For example, they can arise from municipal operations such as water treatment, use of civic facilities, waste management and municipal fleets. Community emissions are significantly greater than those resulting from municipal operations, and include a wider scope of sources of energy use and GHG emissions within the jurisdictional area of a local government. These include emissions generated by residents, industry, commercial bodies and institutions such as schools and hospitals. 

FCM funding and PCP

My municipality needs financial help to complete the PCP milestones. Is there funding available?

Yes. FCM's Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program provides grants to municipalities undertaking milestones 1 to 3 of the PCP program. Undertaken together, these milestones are considered an eligible GHG reduction plan. To receive FCM financial assistance you must aim to achieve milestones 1 to 3 for both corporate and community emissions within three years.

The GHG reduction plan must establish a baseline through a GHG emission inventory, set emission reduction targets, and outline actions to reduce GHG emissions for municipal operations and the community in all areas of municipal activity, including energy use, transportation planning, land use, waste and water management. Actions outlined in the GHG reduction plan must include specific tasks and who will accomplish them, a timeline for implementation, and estimated costs.

You can also benefit from technical guidance and support from the PCP program.

My municipality would like to undertake an integrated a plan for climate mitigation and adaptation. Is funding available for a combined approach?

Yes, funding for adaptation planning and vulnerability assessments is also available and can be either combined with the PCP milestones or done separately. Municipalities are encouraged to consider mitigation and adaptation concurrently. Learn more about new funding for climate change initiatives offered through FCM's Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program.

I want to apply for GMF funding to develop a greenhouse gas reduction plan. Does my municipality have to be a member of PCP?

No. However, there are several benefits to joining the PCP program, including free technical guidance and support from the PCP Secretariat, access to the web-based PCP Milestone Tool to prepare your GHG emissions inventory and forecast, and opportunities to network with other local governments who are engaged in climate action across the country. The program also showcases member achievements on the FCM website and through national webinars, newsletters and FCM's Sustainable Communities Conference. The PCP program is free to join.

My municipality has already completed some of the milestone components. Can I still apply for funding?

In many circumstances, municipalities will have already completed their corporate GHG inventories, set targets and identified actions to reduce GHG emissions for their municipal operations. Often they wish to expand this plan to include the wider community.

If you have already completed some combination of the corporate and community components of the milestones and wish to apply for funding to complete other elements, you may be able to receive funding, provided your application clearly explains which components have been completed and when, and which components are the subject of the application. However, Milestone 3, completing a local action plan, must be one of the components.

My municipality needs financial support for our GHG inventory, but doesn't intend to complete the requirements for milestones 2 and 3 at this time. Can I still apply?

No. To be eligible for funding, milestone 1 to 3 must be undertaken together and completed within three years.

My municipality has completed all the requirements for the corporate or community-wide components for milestones 1 to 3, but not both. Can I still apply?

Yes, provided your application reflects all of the required components and you indicate that the already completed components will be updated to reflect any new information and will be submitted for approval by the municipal council.

If your application is approved, costs become eligible as of the date we receive your complete application. Eligible costs are partially reimbursed.

Please see our list of eligible and ineligible costs and contact us for more details about our eligible cost dates and reimbursement procedures.

My municipality has already completed a sustainable community plan. Can I apply to update the plan and add the required components of the GHG reduction plan (i.e. corporate and community-wide GHG inventory, emission reduction targets and actions)?

Yes. However, only the costs associated with the GHG reductions will be eligible for funding.

Can a number of adjacent municipalities collectively apply for funding?

Yes. When several municipalities apply together, there still needs to be one lead applicant, and while community emissions can be aggregated for the region, the corporate inventories and corporate reduction targets will need to be specified for each municipality. All of the municipalities involved will need to achieve milestones 1 to 3.

The funding limit for the collective GHG reduction plan remains $175,000.

My municipality was approved for funding for a GHG reduction plan, we have completed it, and now we are ready to submit our plan and request for disbursement. What are the next steps?

Upon completion, submit the documentation to GMF. If your municipality is a PCP member, your plan and supporting documentation in support of milestones 1 to 3 should be submitted first to PCP staff for review. Staff will prepare a review report and you will have the opportunity to submit adjustments in consultation with staff to ensure that you have met the requirements for milestones 1 to 3. Upon approval, you will then be able to submit your request for final disbursements to GMF.

If your municipality is not a PCP member, your documentation will not be reviewed by PCP staff, but you will still need to demonstrate council adoption of your GHG reduction plan. You will also need to describe your approach and the methodologies used in the documentation you submit with your request for disbursement.

My municipality has already received recognition for some milestones and I am submitting updated documentation to complete our pending milestones. What are the next steps?

If you have not changed any of the documentation that satisfies the conditions for the milestones that your municipality has already achieved, the review process and subsequent GMF disbursements will be based on the documentation and recognitions to be granted for any pending milestone.

If you have made some changes to the documentation you submitted in support of milestones that your municipality has already achieved, the review process and subsequent GMF disbursements will be based on the documentation regarding the updates and recognition for already achieved and pending milestones.

In either case, you will need to provide evidence of your council's reaffirmation of the existing documents or adoption of the updates and new documentation. 

Page Updated: 06/04/2017