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SFU's Renewable Cities to establish $21.7 M Metro Vancouver Low Carbon Cities Canada Innovation Centre

January 12, 2021

Simon Fraser University’s Renewable Cities program will establish a new regional Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) Innovation Centre, aimed at accelerating urban climate solutions for the region.

The SFU program was selected by the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to launch the new centre this fall. The non-profit entity will help cities across the region meet their climate action goals through innovation and reducing carbon emissions.

The $21.7-million endowment from the federal government will help to identify, finance and scale up local climate solutions, such as building retrofits and the electrification of transportation.

“We are looking forward to engaging with private, public and non-profit sectors to harness the immense intellectual, social and financial capital of the region, through a new institution and a high impact board to bend the carbon curve to zero,” says Alex Boston, SFU Renewable Cities executive director and fellow at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

Boston says the centre will generate new jobs while building skills and knowledge in many existing sectors to pivot to zero carbon approaches.

Over the next eight months, a team of nonprofit, government and community climate action strategists, led by Renewable Cities, will carry out stakeholder engagement and strategic planning work to establish and launch the centre. The LC3 Centre will focus on initiatives that drive deep carbon reductions and deliver a solid return on investment.

The news follows Vancouver City Council’s approval of its Climate Emergency Action Plan in November 2020. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the funding to create the centre will “boost our ability to develop and invest in new local solutions and support innovation,” as the city works to reduce building and transportation carbon emissions, key priorities of its accelerated climate work.

The federal endowment for the Metro Vancouver LC3 Centre is part of a $183-million initiative called Low Carbon Cities Canada. LC3 supports cities and communities to reach their carbon emissions reduction potential while improving public health and the local economy.