Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund

Every community can play a role in slowing the rate of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, Nova Scotians are already facing impacts that are expected to worsen in the decades to come. These impacts are felt differently throughout the province, and disproportionally affect people who are also experiencing other inequities. As a result, effective climate action depends on the local context and is closely connected with other challenges and opportunities that communities face.

The Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is a grant program for local action on climate change in Nova Scotia. It will provide investment in support of community efforts to reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions, or prepare and respond to the impacts of a changing climate. A wide range of projects are eligible for funding, from renewable energy to public outreach initiatives, to coastal restoration. The priority is to help organizations implement the climate action they want to see happen.

Issues of inequity, affordability and health and wellness are closely connected to our ability to lower emissions and build community readiness to cope with climate challenges. Urgent action is needed in places throughout Nova Scotia, recognizing the need to include social and racial justice as part of the climate change response.


The Fund is intended for community organizations and institutions. The following groups are eligible:

  • Nova Scotia municipalities
  • First Nations bands and tribal councils
  • Post-secondary institutions
  • Registered non-profit organizations active in Nova Scotia

Collaboration, partnerships, and regional approaches between organizations and sectors are encouraged. Businesses may be part of a proposed project; however, the lead applicant must be one of the identified types of organizations.

Priority will be given to applications from organizations of Mi’kmaq peoples, African Nova Scotians, racialized peoples, immigrants, individuals living on low incomes, individuals living with disabilities, older adults, youth, 2SLGBTQ+, and women.


Projects in the Mitigation Stream seek to slow the rate of climate change with GHG emissions reduction and carbon removal. Projects should lead to lasting reductions or capture of emissions.

Projects in the Adaptation Stream help communities to proactively prepare and respond to climate change, with the goal of reducing vulnerability and exposure to human and natural systems.

There are also low-barrier options to participate, available to projects that will directly involve and benefit communities that will disproportionately experience the negative effects of climate change and face barriers to mitigation efforts.