Government of Canada supporting Ontario universities with funding to reduce pollution to achieve environmental success
July 13, 2023 – Hamilton, Ontario
Canada’s pollution pricing system creates incentives for industries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions; drives innovation and sustainable business practices; and fosters a cleaner, more environmentally responsible future.
Through the Decarbonization Incentive Program, the Government of Canada returns a portion of the proceeds collected from the federal pollution price on large industrial emitters to support clean technology projects. This funding will enable eligible facilities to achieve greater energy efficiency, adopt sustainable solutions, and reduce their emissions to support the transition to a low-carbon world.
Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, announced on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, an investment of approximately $9 million from pollution pricing proceeds in three Ontario universities through the Decarbonization Incentive Program. McMaster University, York University, and Western University will use this funding to undertake critical infrastructure improvements that directly tackle carbon emissions across their campuses. Together, these projects will cut over 35,000 tonnes of emissions in 2030.
McMaster University will receive $2,087,600 to reduce its natural gas usage for campus heating through the installation of electric boilers. Similarly, Western University will receive $4,745,000 for a four-year project to replace natural gas boilers with electric steam boilers. York University will receive $2,080,000 to upgrade its energy management system to make its heating and cooling more energy efficient.
By investing pollution pricing proceeds in these forward-thinking institutions, the Government of Canada is supporting their efforts to transition to lower-cost, renewable energy sources. Ultimately, this will benefit Canadians and communities across the nation, as cleaner air and reduced emissions contribute to improved health and well-being for all citizens.
The Government of Canada remains committed to addressing climate change and recognizes the vital role that academic institutions play in driving meaningful solutions through environmental leadership. Through partnerships and projects like these ones, the Government of Canada can accelerate collective efforts to build a sustainable and prosperous future for all Canadians.
“By returning pollution pricing proceeds to these three universities for emission reduction projects, we are empowering Canadian institutions to lead the way in fighting climate change. This strategic investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to fostering innovative solutions and collaborating with Canada’s industrial sectors as we transition to a low-carbon world. Together, we can make a significant impact and create a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous Canada.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Today’s announcement to return pollution pricing proceeds to fund industrial decarbonization projects is a significant step forward in achieving Canada’s climate goals. These three projects will not only bring about a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario, but also inspire other institutions and communities to take meaningful action towards building a sustainable future for all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“We congratulate McMaster, Western, and York universities on securing funding through the Decarbonization Incentive Program. This significant investment underscores the government’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering sustainable practices in the academic sector. By supporting critical infrastructure improvements, these universities will play a pivotal role in cutting carbon emissions on their campuses. We applaud their dedication to achieving greater energy efficiency and adopting clean technologies. Through collaborative efforts, we can build a greener and more resilient future for all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Judy A. Sgro, M.P., P.C., Humber River–Black Creek
“This investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to investing in innovative solutions and collaborating with all Canadians in achieving our emission reduction targets. As we transition to a low-carbon world, we are empowering Western to continue leading the way in fighting climate change. This project also brings London one step closer to meeting its commitment to reduce emissions across the city by 55 percent from 2005 levels, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”
– Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre
“The addition of two electric boilers will reduce carbon emissions on campus by 23 percent, which represents a significant milestone in McMaster University’s strategy to decarbonize our campus operations. We thank Environment and Climate Change Canada for supporting this project and for their continued investment in green technology.”
– David Farrar, President of McMaster University
“As the effects of the climate crisis continue to be felt in Canada and around the world, programs such as the Decarbonization Incentive Program play an important role in enabling industries to reduce their carbon emissions and advance their sustainability efforts. York University has long been recognized as a leader in sustainability, including a commitment to strengthen our impact on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are grateful to the Government of Canada for this funding, which will transform the way York delivers its utilities, allow it to act as a living lab for our researchers and students, and contribute to the sustainability of our campuses.”
– Rhonda Lenton, President of York University
“We are so grateful for this funding, which will ensure that Western has a resilient and upgraded heating system, and will help us meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets at the same time. This is a system-wide, impactful project that is a huge step forward in our commitment to reduce emissions on campus by 45 percent by 2030, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”
– Andrew Konowalchuk, Associate Vice-President, Facilities Management, Western University
The Decarbonization Incentive Program consists of proceeds collected from all industrial sectors, other than the electricity sector, that are covered by the federal Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS). These proceeds are being returned to support clean technology projects through funding agreements with industrial facilities that are (or were) subject to the OBPS.
The OBPS is a regulatory trading system for large industrial facilities under Canada’s carbon pollution pricing system. It gives large industrial facilities a price incentive to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and spur innovation.
Emissions limits are set for each facility subject to the OBPS. Facilities that emit above their limit have to pay for their excess emissions. Those that emit less than their limit are issued surplus credits they can sell or save to use later. This creates a financial incentive for less efficient facilities to reduce their emissions, and for strong performers to continue to improve.
The OBPS helps to maintain competitiveness for industries by protecting against the risk of industrial facilities moving from one jurisdiction to another to avoid paying a price on carbon pollution (known as “carbon leakage”).
The Government of Canada has committed to return proceeds collected from the OBPS to the jurisdictions of origin. Provinces and territories that have voluntarily adopted the federal OBPS can opt for a direct transfer of proceeds collected. Proceeds collected in non-voluntary jurisdictions, thus far from Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, will be returned through the two program streams of the OBPS Proceeds Fund.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
- Date modified: