Frequently asked questions: Climate Action and Awareness Fund
Climate Action and Awareness Fund
1. Will there be more than one request for proposals under the Climate Action and Awareness Fund?
Yes. A request for proposals under the Climate Action and Awareness Fund was launched in September 2020. Under that request for proposals, up to $50 million will be invested in community-based climate action projects to fight climate change over the next five years. There may be additional intakes in fiscal year 2021-2022.
The remaining funding of the Climate Action and Awareness Fund will go toward additional priorities, with requests for proposals expected in winter 2021:
- advancing climate science and technology
- supporting academia and think tank organizations to better understand Canada’s transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions
In June 2020, the Environmental Damages Fund accepted applications for projects that will improve understanding of climate change for Kindergarten to Grade 12 (maternelle to Cégep in Quebec) youth across Canada. Project applications are currently under review, and approved projects will be funded under the new Climate Action and Awareness Fund.
2. Can I apply to more than one request for proposals?
Yes, interested applicants are able to apply to more than one request for proposals. Information on further funding opportunities under the Climate Action and Awareness Fund (see Q.1 above) will be available in winter 2021.
Community-based climate action – September 2020 request for proposals
1. What is the objective of the current request for proposals?
The community-based climate action intake will invest in projects that develop knowledge, tools and/or skills that engage communities in climate action in order to help support Canada’s climate goals, such as net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate how their proposed approach – such as creating tools, doing outreach, or providing resources like training or virtual platforms – would lead to action on climate change among communities.
2. Is Environment and Climate Change Canada directing funds from the Climate Action Fund to the Climate Action and Awareness Fund?
The Climate Action Fund has merged funds with funding from the Environmental Damages Fund to create the Climate Action and Awareness Fund. This new fund will support larger-scale, more transformative climate action and engagement projects that will contribute to Canada’s climate goals, such as reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Climate Action and Awareness Fund will allow for a smoother, easier applicant experience by creating a centralized application process, rather than having applicants apply to multiple, yet similar, funds.
Climate Action Fund is contributing $15 million in funding over five years to the community-based climate action intake of the Climate Action and Awareness Fund. Together with Environmental Damages Fund funding, Environment and Climate Change Canada will be able to support up to $50 million worth of community-based projects that increase engagement and build capacity for climate action.
3. For-profits and individuals were eligible applicants under the Climate Action Fund. Why are they no longer eligible for this request for proposals?
Lead Applicants to the community-based climate action request for proposals under the Climate Action and Awareness Fund must be not-for-profit non-governmental organizations, universities or academic institutions, or Indigenous organizations.
While this funding will directly support the not-for-profit sector, for-profit organizations are eligible to partner with Lead Applicants in submitting proposals, and can partner with more than one Lead Applicant. Evidence of partnerships – whether with for-profit organizations, not-for-profits, governments, or others – will be considered as a strength during the project’s assessment process.
4. Who are the target audiences of the community-based climate action request for proposals?
The intended audiences for this request for proposals are:
- communities facing obstacles to climate action
- communities with low engagement on climate action
- communities with significant exposure to climate risk
- Indigenous organizations
Applicants may also select an “other” category and describe the community type the project will support, and why the community will benefit from the project.
5. What percentage of total project costs will the Fund cover?
Funding for this request for proposals is available for up to 100% of eligible project costs.
You are not required to match funds; however, evidence of other non-federal funding sources of funding (i.e. matching contributions either cash and/or in-kind) will be considered an asset.
6. I missed the webinars. Where can I access a recording?
Due to a high volume of registrations, we understand that some interested attendees were not able to access the October 5 Climate Action and Awareness Fund: Overview for Potential Applicants webinars. Please consult the recording here. Please note that the English presentation begins at 31:47 minutes.
7. Can you provide the specific evaluation criteria for assessment?
All proposals received through GCEMS will undergo an administrative review. The administrative review will confirm that the:
- project and Lead Applicant are eligible for funding
- proposal addresses the management of external risks, including an appropriate implementation plan given the COVID-19 pandemic
- proposal presents a balanced budget
- proposal describes realistic and eligible activities
- proposal presents a plan for communications and reporting on results
- proposal provides a target for the required performance indicator
- proposal provides all necessary supporting documentation.
Technical review of your proposal by subject matter experts will be undertaken for eligible projects. At this stage, your proposal may be shared with other federal departments for assessment. A Selection Committee will recommend proposals to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for funding approval, targeting decisions by early 2021.
8. Who is an eligible partner or supporter? How many proposals can they support?
While Lead Applicants for this request for proposals must be not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous organizations, or academic institutions or universities, Lead Applicants are encouraged to partner with at least one other organization, such as other not-for-profits, Indigenous organizations, university and academic institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises, provincial, territorial or municipal governments.
Partners can support more than one application. Partnering with at least one other organization is considered a merit in the assessment of the proposal. A maximum score for partnership criteria will be allocated when:
- the partnering organization is engaged in project activities, decision-making, and governance
- the partnering organization is providing financial and/or in-kind support.
9. What is meant by formal curriculum materials?
Formal curriculum materials are defined as a planned program of objectives, content, learning experiences, resources and assessment offered by provincially/territorially funded schools, or privately funded schools. Applicants will be required to confirm that their project does not aim to produce formal curriculum materials in order for the proposal to be eligible for funding.
10. Can existing projects be funded?
The community-based climate action request for proposals supports new projects that build capacity and provide knowledge, tools and/or skills that build or engage communities for climate action to help support Canada's climate goals.
Ongoing projects or the continuation of existing projects are not eligible for funding.
Application process – community-based climate action request for proposals
1. I want to discuss my proposal or details about my project before I submit it. Is there someone who can reach out to me?
For specific questions about the community-based climate action request for proposals, please contact email@example.com. Please note that in order to ensure transparency and fairness, Environment and Climate Change Canada will refrain from individually assisting applicants with their applications.
We will be holding webinar sessions to share information for prospective applicants about the process of submitting a proposal through the Grants and Contributions Enterprise Management System (GCEMS).
2. When will I receive a decision about my proposal?
Funding decisions will be communicated to Lead Applicants by winter 2021.
3. Are applications assessed on a first-come, first-served basis?
No. All applications to the community-based climate action intake will be assessed as long as they are submitted prior to the October 21, 2020 deadline, and have received a confirmation email acknowledging receipt.
4. Will I be able to receive feedback on my proposal if it is unsuccessful?
No. Due to a high volume of applications, we are not in a position to provide detailed feedback on individual project proposals.
5. Is there an appeal process for project decisions?
No. All projects decisions for the community-based climate action request for proposals are final. It is the responsibility of the Lead Applicant to ensure that we have a clear and accurate understanding of the project. We do not expect to contact applicants for further information.
6. Can I submit more than one application to the community-based climate action intake?
Yes. Eligible applicants are free to apply more than once to this request for proposals as a lead applicant, and/or to support more than one proposal as a partner. Partners can support more than one application. All proposals will be assessed on merit.
7. What and how many supporting documents should I submit?
Lead Applicants can provide other supplementary information to support their application. You may provide up to 15 documents, including mandatory documentation, for assessment.
There are two (2) required and one (1) optional type of documentation needed for every project proposal. Lead Applicants must provide:
- Required - Documentation to demonstrate that they, solely or in a collective partnership, have a governance structure that assures accountability to a membership (includes Boards).
- Required - At least two (2) letters of support from recent (within the past 5 years) project partners and/or sponsors external to their organization.
- Optional - Letters confirming support if other sources of funding and/or in-kind participation in your project budget is indicated, such as professional advice.
For information about additional requirements for projects requesting over $500,000, please see Q8 below.
8. If my project is requesting over $500,000, what other supporting documentation do I need to provide?
If requesting over $500,000 in funding, Lead Applicants must also:
- Submit at least one final project report, which may not be a mid-term or interim project report, for an individual project valued at $500,000 or more. This total project value includes all cash and in-kind support and must be a project that was completed in the past 5 years. The report must contain target and actual performance indicators for the project.
Submit financial statements (i.e. Annual Financial Report or equivalent; these do not need to be audited) for the purposes of a fiduciary risk check. This will allow ECCC to determine the Lead Applicant’s functional capacity.
The ineligibility calculation is as follows:
“Is the annual total revenue equal or less than the funding requested divided by the number of years of the proposed project?”
Therefore, in order to be eligible for funding, the Lead Applicant’s annual total revenue must be greater than the funding requested divided by the number of years of the proposed project.
9. I can’t sign into GCEMS. What should I do?
Unfortunately, we do not give support for Sign-In Partner account. We strongly recommend that you use the GCkey instead of the Sign-In Partner.
For any technical issues related to website functionality and access (e.g., GCKey and SWIM), GCEMS technical support can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advancing climate science and technology
1. What is the anticipated scope of the climate science and technology priority?
We will be seeking proposals that strengthen science capacity to identify, accelerate, and evaluate actions to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
2. What will the application process look like for the climate science and technology priority?
A two-step application process is anticipated starting with Letters of Intent, followed by an invitation to submit a full proposal.
3. When will the request for proposals for the climate science and technology priority be launched?
The anticipated launch for this priority is winter 2021.
Supporting academic institutions and think tank organizations
1. When will the request for proposals for the academia and think tank priority be launched?
The anticipated launch for this priority is winter 2021.
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