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Purpose of the Fund

Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund

The Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is a provincial grant program for local action on climate change in Nova Scotia. It will support community efforts to reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions or to prepare for 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 goal is to help communities implement the climate action they have decided is important to them

Fund administration

The Fund is developed and administered by the NSFM on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change. A distinct team of staff is dedicated to the Fund administration, at arm’s length from the core NFSM operations. An external review committee of multidisciplinary experts will evaluate applications.

Who can apply?

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

  • 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 communities, organizations and sectors are encouraged. For-profit and private sector entities, social enterprises, and municipal-owned corporations can be eligible provided they partner with one of the organizations listed above, who will act as the lead proponent for the project.

Applications from organizations of Mi’kmaq peoples, African Nova Scotians, racialized peoples, immigrants, Acadians, individuals living on low incomes, individuals living with disabilities, older adults, youth, 2SLGBTQ+, and women will be favourably considered.

What Projects are Eligible?

Projects in the Mitigation Stream seek to avoid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to Nova Scotia’s targets for emission reduction. Focus areas under this stream include:

  • Buildings
  • Transportation
  • Energy generation and storage
  • Waste management and circular economy
  • Carbon storage and sequestration.

Projects in the Adaptation Stream help communities improve their capacity to adapt to climate change, with the goal of reducing vulnerability and exposure to human and natural systems. Focus areas under this stream include:

  • Built environment and climate-ready infrastructure
  • Ecosystems and nature-based solutions
  • Community coordination and planning.

What Funding is Available?

The Fund will provide non-repayable grants up to 80% of the eligible project costs, and a maximum of $1,000,000 per project. An applicant must contribute to the project, which may be a combination of cash and in-kind. The required contribution depends on the value of eligible project costs. Higher-value projects are expected to make a larger contribution, which can include other funding sources.

More information

Learn more, and join our mailing list to receive updates at Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund.

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