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Commission for Environmental Cooperation: Environmental Justice and Climate Resilience Grant Program (EJ4Climate)

Deadline: November 14, 2021

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) facilitates effective cooperation and public participation to conserve, protect, and enhance the North American environment in support of sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations. Initiated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the CEC established the Environmental Justice and Climate Resilience Grant Program (EJ4Climate) to fund grants and cooperative agreements to address environmental justice and climate resilience for underserved, vulnerable communities, and Indigenous communities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This program will provide funding directly to Indigenous communities and community-based organizations to help them develop community-driven solutions to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Projects will start in February 2022.

This program is targeted to underserved and vulnerable communities, including Indigenous communities, low-income communities, and communities with heightened risk and increased sensitivity to climate change and that have less capacity and fewer resources to cope with, adapt to, or recover from climate impacts. The degree of risk and sensitivity stems from physical (built and environmental), social, political, and/or economic factors, which interact with each other and are exacerbated by climate impacts. These factors include, but are not limited to, race, class, sexual orientation and identification, national origin, and income inequality.

The program also seeks to foster climate resilience by improving the capacity of communities to prepare for, withstand, respond to, and recover from hazardous events or disturbances related to climate change, which poses risks to human health, the environment, cultural resources, the economy, and quality of life.

For the inaugural grant cycle, the CEC is calling for initiatives that:

  • Support community resilience to climate change and climate-related impacts;
  • Yield tangible, equitable benefits for local communities by addressing or adapting to climate change impacts;
  • Consider local knowledge and transform that knowledge into an innovative action or solution;
  • Build partnerships that respond to community-identified challenges.

Possible projects under the grant program could include addressing extreme weather impacts, transitioning to clean energy and/or transportation systems, or utilizing traditional ecological knowledge to address climate change impacts. Project types can include, but are not limited to, capacity building, pilot projects, transfer of innovative technologies, conducting outreach or education, sharing best practices, communication and preparedness/response process improvements, training environmental and community leaders, engaging youth on environmental activities, reducing risks to the environment.

Applications will be evaluated based on the quality and extent to which the applicant demonstrates:

  • The project addresses the focus areas identified by the CEC Council (see solicitation for details);
  • The project can be replicated in other regions or communities;
  • The project will include formal or informal partnerships or linkages at the state, local or Indigenous community level, within the North American region;
  • How the proposed project will address the environmental needs and concerns of local communities, including evaluating the quality and extent to which the applicant demonstrates how it will engage and work with community-based organizations, and the extent of support and involvement of the local community for the concept if the organization is not local;
  • If relevant, the potential to support and/or create existing or new jobs that devote a substantial portion of their work to improving energy efficiency, addressing climate change, increasing the supply of renewable energy, and/or preventing, reducing, or cleaning up pollution.
  • See solicitation for more criteria.

Applications will be given additional consideration if the applicant describes how the proposal will:

  • Promote actions and policies that generate synergies between mitigation and adaptation and that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Align with the CEC’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan;
  • Focus actions on areas of greatest poverty and climate vulnerability;
  • Encourage the participation and belonging of the population to their communities and identify areas of opportunity to face climate change from a gender and intercultural perspective.

Amount: Grants of up to C$200,000 will be made for a duration of 12 to 24 months.

Eligibility: Eligible applicants include nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), civil society groups, environmental groups, community-based associations, tribal nations, and Indigenous Peoples and communities. Specifically, applicants should be a “community-based organization,” meaning a nongovernmental organization that has demonstrated effectiveness as a representative of a community or a significant segment of a community and that helps members of that community or segment obtain environmental, educational, or other social services. Universities and academic and public research institutions are eligible to apply by teaming up with community-based organizations. Grantees must be located in Canada, Mexico, or the United States.

Note: This program does not support businesses, private individuals, or municipal, provincial/state, territorial and federal governments. However, proposals from qualified organizations partnering with the private sector or local government entities are eligible.

Link: http://www.cec.org/EJ4Climate/

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