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Municipal GHG Challenge Fund


The new Municipal GHG Challenge Fund is a program funded by the proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market that aims to support community-led action on climate change.

The competitive application-based program will fund up to 100% of the eligible costs for greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects proposed by municipalities.

Municipalities may request up to $10 million per project.

The Municipal GHG Challenge Fund is part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan to fight climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy. The action plan and cap and trade program form the backbone of Ontario's strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.


The application period is now closed.

Eligibility Requirements

Any Ontario municipality with a community-wide greenhouse gas inventory, emissions reduction targets and a strategy/plan to reduce emissions is eligible to apply.

*UPDATE* We have heard feedback from many municipalities that, although they do not have a complete community-wide inventory of GHG emissions, GHG reduction targets and/or a plan to achieve them, they are eager to participate in the Municipal GHG Challenge Fund.

Given the amount of interest generated by the Challenge Fund so far, the eligibility requirements for the first round of funding will be opened to allow all municipalities to apply, so long as applicants demonstrate a commitment to completing their community-wide GHG inventory, targets and plan within 18 months, through a council resolution. If approved for funding, the council resolution must occur before the transfer payment agreement is completed.

All applications will be scored using the criteria outlined in the Program Guide. If applicants do not have an inventory, targets, and/or a GHG reduction plan, this will impact their score in the section entitled “Alignment with Municipal GHG Planning”.

Municipal projects that are eligible for funding would aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in any sector, including in buildings, energy supply, water, transportation, waste and organics. Projects that are currently underway are only eligible if they were initiated after June 1, 2016.

A higher score will be given to municipalities that have a comprehensive GHG reduction plan that meets or exceeds the province’s 2020, 2030 and 2050 targets. A higher score will also be given to applicants that already have funding for up to 50% of eligible costs (e.g., through federal/municipal governments, private sector, industry partners etc.).

If a municipality has a population of less than 10,000 and does not meet the requirements, it may be eligible for the Very Small Municipalities Stream as part of the same application.

Municipalities are encouraged to partner with community organizations and other municipalities to implement their project.

For more information, read the Municipal GHG Challenge Fund Program Guide.

How to apply

Step 1: all applications must be submitted electronically through Grants Ontario. Applicants must have a Grants Ontario account in order to apply.

Step 2: follow the guide and complete the application form through Grants Ontario.

Step 3: provide supporting documents. The following documents must be submitted with your application:

• Budget/Work Plan (see template below)

• Copies of community-wide GHG emissions inventory, emissions reduction targets, and GHG emission reduction plan or equivalent

• Commitment to the project from municipal council or a senior municipal authority (e.g. council resolution or letter)

• Additional GHG Reduction Estimates Supporting Information

• Letter of commitment from any other funders (if applicable)

It is expected that the selected projects will be announced in 2018.

Program Guidelines

Information Webinar

Program Guide

Budget/Work Plan Template

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note an error in the “Eligible and Ineligible Costs” section of the Program Guide. The portion of taxes for which your municipality is not otherwise eligible for rebate is mistakenly listed under ineligible costs. This should be listed under eligible costs.

Additional Resources



Last updated: November 17, 2017