Government of Canada reducing emissions in Calgary by expanding the willow plantation

News release

August 25, 2020 – Calgary, Alberta

As Canada begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of all Canadians. That includes working to help the economy recover, creating new green jobs, reducing emissions, and making life more affordable for Canadians.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced approximately $2 million from the Low Carbon Economy Fund to support the City of Calgary’s biomass production and carbon sequestration project. This initiative will reduce emissions by planting 300 new hectares of trees over three years at the City’s successful willow plantation.

Over the lifetime of this project, the City of Calgary will see a cumulative reduction of about 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions—equivalent to removing approximately 61,000 cars off the road for one year.

The plantation will use municipal biosolids as fertilizer and will help create a carbon-storage sink that leads to fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

This funding comes from the Champions stream of the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which invests in projects that reduce carbon pollution, save money, and create good jobs.

Canada’s climate plan is on track to deliver the largest emissions reduction in the country’s history. These initiatives are just the beginning. The Government of Canada will continue to bring forward new and enhanced climate action measures to exceed our 2030 target and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.


“The Government of Canada is proud to support innovative projects that reduce emissions and create good jobs. Today’s announcement highlights some of the important work the City of Calgary is doing to build a stronger, more resilient, and sustainable community. The willow plantation is a great example of local climate action, which will help Canada meet and exceed its 2030 Paris target as well as achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Calgarians are innovators by nature, and the willow tree farm is the latest example of that. We’re grateful for the support of the federal government, which will help us double the size of this operation, offsetting an enormous amount of emissions while increasing our biomass production.”

– Naheed Nenshi, Mayor for the City of Calgary

Quick facts

  • The willow plantation project utilizes municipal biosolids to fertilize and improve marginal agricultural soils, sequester carbon as soil organic matter, and produce woody biomass.

  • Using fertilizer from a municipal wastewater treatment plant provides an alternative to traditional chemical-based fertilizers.

  • The Champion stream of the Low Carbon Economy Fund is an important part of Canada’s climate action plan, helping put Canada on a path to meet and exceed the Paris Agreement target for 2030.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Fund is supporting energy-efficiency projects in provinces and territories across Canada, which will help Canadians and businesses save money by lowering energy bills. Additionally, support is available to industries to put in place clean technologies that will help them be more efficient and innovative, creating jobs and savings across Canada.

Associated links


Moira Kelly
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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