Government of Canada supports climate action by the University of British Columbia

News release

August 19, 2019 – Vancouver, British Columbia

British Columbians are feeling the impacts of climate change in their communities, from forest fires to droughts. A recent report from expert Canadian scientists showed that Canada was warming at twice the global average. That’s why the Government of Canada is working with businesses, cities and towns, Indigenous communities, universities, schools and hospitals to cut pollution, protect our health, and make life more affordable.

Today, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced support for climate action by the University of British Columbia. The $7.6 million funding will help the University with its biomass expansion project, which will increase the University’s renewable energy capacity. This project will help meet the increasing demand of a growing campus, while reducing emissions.

The funding comes from the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund–an important part of Canada’s climate plan. The Fund invests in projects that reduce carbon pollution, save money, and create good jobs in a clean economy.

By working together with Canadians across the country and supporting good projects like that of the University of British Columbia, we can continue to protect the environment and grow the economy for future generations.


“Canadians across the country are coming up with innovative and affordable solutions to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions, saving people money and creating good jobs along the way. By investing in these projects, from coast to coast to coast, the Government of Canada is making sure we are positioned to succeed in the $26 trillion global market for clean solutions and to create good middle-class jobs today and for the future.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“This year, UBC was recognized on the Times Higher Education University Impact rankings as number one in the world for our climate change efforts. The Government of Canada’s investment in the expansion of UBC’s Bioenergy Research & Demonstration Facility will help UBC maintain our global leadership and move us significantly closer to our goal of zero carbon emissions on the UBC Vancouver campus. Using clean, locally-sourced wood waste, this expansion will produce up to 70 per cent of our Vancouver campus’ annual thermal production while eliminating an average of 14,500 tonnes of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.”

– Peter Smailes, Vice-President, Finance & Operations, The University of British Columbia

Quick facts

  • This University of British Columbia project has potential for replicability as other organizations, including university and college campuses, examine the potential for biomass to replace fossil fuels in existing district heating systems.

  • According to Clean Energy Canada, the energy efficiency measures in Canada’s climate plan will help improve Canada’s economy and environment between now and 2030 by creating 118,000 new jobs, boosting our GDP by $356 billion, and saving Canadian households an average of $114 a year. Every $1 spent on energy efficiency generates approximately $7 of GDP.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Challenge Champions stream, valued at $450 million, supports projects that will leverage ingenuity across the country to reduce emissions and generate clean growth.

Associated links


Sabrina Kim
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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