Canada Working to Reduce Diesel Use in Rural Communities

The national government believes cutting reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities will decrease Canada’s carbon footprint, support climate change adaptation, and contribute to healthier communities.

The government of Canada announced actions Feb. 16 aiming to reduce the use of diesel fuel in rural and remote communities, saying this will decrease Canada's carbon footprint, support climate change adaptation, and contribute to healthier communities. Canada's minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, announced a call for proposals for the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program, which will provide approximately $220 million in funding for initiatives to reduce reliance on diesel fuel in rural and remote communities, most of which are Indigenous.

The funding builds on more than $53 million provided through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and is complemented by Infrastructure Canada's $400 million Arctic Energy Fund, which is specific to the territories to help improve energy security in northern Canada by replacing or upgrading aging fossil fuel energy infrastructure.

The government said the new announcement is part of its larger vision for Canada's clean energy future, which will provide $21.9 billion over 11 years to support green infrastructure, drive clean growth, and combat climate change. These are investments in renewable power, smart electricity grids, alternative fuel charging stations, and more-energy-efficient homes.

"We are pleased to work together with the provinces and territories on these initiatives to promote cleaner, more reliable energy supply in rural and remote communities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada's north and create new opportunities for social and economic development in these communities. Our government's green infrastructure funding will also help to ensure that Canada is a global leader in the transition to a greener economy," Carr said.

"The government of Canada is committed to advancing clean energy and supporting the leadership of Indigenous and remote communities in the north in their own clean energy transition," added Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. "The government's investments in green infrastructures are essential to achieve these goals while establishing a clean growth economy and healthier communities. There is still a long way to go, but we are determined to get there, working in collaboration with Indigenous leadership, territorial governments, and all our partners."