Resources for Municipalities, Regional Districts, and Modern Treaty Nations
The Government of BC announced in mid-May that it is providing funds directly to municipalities, regional districts, and Modern Treaty Nations to implement local climate action. The Local Government Climate Action Program (LGCAP) recognizes the urgency of local greenhouse gas emission reductions and actions that support community climate resilience. LGCAP follows the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP), which was discontinued by the Province last year. The new LGCAP is being established for a 3-year period (2022-2024), but may be renewed in the future.
Some Critical Dates
June 15 – July 15, 2022 Submission of required information to the Government of BC
June 30, 2022 Last day to request Provincial Government assistance with exporting data from the Clean Government Reporting Tool (CGRT) – this is the tool that had been used in CARIP reporting; now being discontinued
August 31, 2022 Funds dispersed
September 1, 2022 Last day to access CGRT
September 30, 2022 Deadline for public posting of the survey information
March 31, 2025 Date by which all funds received through LGCAP must be spent
Support and Resources from CEA
WEBINAR RECORDING – View a panel that explored options for how local governments can work together to leverage funds and capacity, and achieve greater emission reductions than by working alone. In each case, relatively small investments from local governments were combined into high-impact projects.
Contact CEA to discuss various options based on the circumstances and priorities of your community:
- Assisting with the new reporting requirements and meeting the timelines
- Documenting GHG emissions associated with local government operations
- Advising on priorities for climate action and emission reduction
- Identifying opportunities for collaboration with other communities and regions, in order to leverage funding and maximize emission reductions
What’s Different About LGCAP Compared to CARIP?
The CARIP allocation was based on local government carbon tax payments, leading to a situation where decreasing carbon fuels led to reduced funds available. LGCAP features a new base amount for all local governments and Modern Treaty Nations (approx. $38,000) along with an adjusted per capita allocation using the same formula for COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant payments, based on 2020 statistics data [the funding will not change over the 3 years of the program, but may be reassessed for future funding announcements]. Every local government is getting more funding from LGCAP than through CARIP; the percentage increase is highest for small communities. And, Modern Treaty Nations are now eligible for funding.
CARIP funds were intended for climate action but this was not required. LGCAP funds must be spent on local climate action initiatives that are aligned with the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 and/or the BC Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.. This new requirement is included in the updated attestation form that must be signed by the Chief Financial Officer, or equivalent.
Another key difference with LGCAP is that local governments and Modern Treaty Nations must now demonstrate climate investment (i.e., matching funding or in-kind contributions) equivalent to 20% of the provincial funding received. Matching funds can come from internal dollars or through grants. This requirement may be able to be fulfilled by actions already being taken – communities are likely already doing a lot of work on climate action across departments and taking an inventory of those existing actions and quantifying their value can fulfill this requirement, rather than ‘new’ investments only.
The Clean Government Reporting Tool (CGRT) that replaced SmartTool for CARIP reporting is no longer being offered by the Province for tracking and reporting corporate emissions. Local governments and Modern Treaty Nations must now self-determine how they will fulfill the reporting requirements as required by the LGCAP. Whatever tool or method is used in reporting must be configured to utilize the emissions factors provided in the updated (2021) BC Best Practices Methodology for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions; the Province has created an Emissions Factor Catalogue that presents these factors in a single excel file – see the ‘Quick Links’ section on the top right of the LGCAP webpage.
No changes have been made to the scope of emissions required to be included in the corporate reporting (e.g., contracted services); however, completing the emissions measurement is only mandatory starting in year 2 of the program (submit in 2023 for 2022 reporting year). New sections have been added to the program survey, including community-wide emissions measurements, planning and progress on adaptation/resilience, and equity-informed approaches (although it should be noted that measurement and progress in these sections is not currently mandatory nor expected to be throughout the 3-year program cycle).
Note that the new LGCAP online survey currently “self destructs” after 28 days, and as such should not be opened or worked on if it will not be completed within this timeframe.
Unlike CARIP, the completed LGCAP reporting survey does not need to be posted publicly; however, the attestation form must be made public (by posting online, including in a public council report, etc).
Unlike CARIP, there is a time limit to spend LGCAP funds. All funds received through LGCAP must be spent by March 31, 2025 (regardless of when received). As with CARIP, funds can be carried over form one year to the next (via reserves, for example), but the LGCAP program requires that funds received throughout the 3-year program be exhausted by March 2025. Given supply chain constraints and labour shortages across the Province, it is more important than ever for communities to move quickly from planning to implementation.