The Climate Innovation Fund Grant Program is no longer accepting Expressions of Interest. For program inquiries, please contact [email protected]

About the Climate Innovation Fund Grant Program

The Climate Innovation Fund Grant Program targets the major urban greenhouse gas emissions sources in Calgary and Edmonton. The program aims to support a broad range of climate positive interventions while ensuring an equitable and just future for all Albertans. Projects supported through the program may cover a diverse range of activities, from technology demonstration to collective impact and policy advancement.

If you believe your project meets our funding priorities and can enable the reduction of emissions in Calgary or Edmonton, but are concerned about quantifying the amount, please contact us so we can learn more about your project. The Alberta Ecotrust team analyzes each project’s emissions reduction potential and may get in touch with you to clarify your key assumptions or to request additional information to support our calculations. Quantifying emissions, if you are unfamiliar with the process or are lacking resources, can be perceived as daunting or burdensome but our team is happy to assist you in confirming your assumptions and completing the exercise.


Information Session Webinars

Webinar 1 Building Better & Retrofitting Wiser: May 4 from 10 to 11 am

Webinar 2 Moving on Mobility: May 17 from 2 to 3 pm

Webinar 3 Decarbonization & Renewable Energy: June 16 from 10 to 11 am

Submit Expression of Interest

Portal opens: July 1st

Application deadline: August 8th

Screen Expression of Interest


Submit Full Grant Application


Award Project Funding



Potential projects must tackle urban emissions reduction in buildings and transportation in the following priority areas:


  • – Low-carbon financing
  • – Measurement, Verification & Offsetting


  • – Opportunity identification & aggregation
  • – Whole-Building retrofitting


  • – Shared mobility, micro-mobility & active transportation
  • – Energy management systems to support electrification
  • – Reducing carbon impacts of urban freight


  • – Community & small-scale renewable energy systems & storage solutions
  • – Building level fuel switching & shared systems


In 2021, $425,000 is available in Calgary and $552,500 is available in Edmonton.

In order to help calibrate the grant call, we are anticipating funding requests in the range of $10,000 to $50,000.

Alberta Ecotrust will accept applications for higher levels of funding (up to $100,000) if the project meets or exceeds the evaluation criteria across multiple categories with a high likelihood of scale-up/replication. In order to be eligible for higher levels of funding applicants must discuss the project with our team prior to submission.



Eligible Organizations

The following organizations are eligible recipients of the Climate Innovation Fund Grant Program:


Eligible charities and nonprofits can partner with private sector experts and/or entities but must remain the lead proponent on the project.


Adjacent Communities with regional projects that meet the project selection criteria should contact our grants team directly to discuss eligibility.

Ineligible Organizations

The following are ineligible recipients of the Climate Innovation Fund Grant Program:

  • – Private sector, or for-profit organizations
  • – Individuals
  • – Individual schools or classroom based programs operating in the K-12 school system
  • – Political parties

Note: Organizations are only eligible to submit one application per City, per grant round.

Eligible Projects

To be eligible for funding, projects must:

  • – Result in direct project level and/or projected greenhouse gas emissions reductions at scale over 20 years (projects will be evaluated on this metric)
  • – Have activities occur and benefits accrued in Calgary or Edmonton
  • – Have a minimum of 20% matching funds
  • – Projects can have multiple sources of matching funds including additional funding from the Federal Government. However, Federal Government funds will not count towards the 20% matching requirement
  • – Matching funds cannot be from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
  • – Non-cash contributions, such as salaries, can be used as matching funds provided they are an auditable expense
  • – Align with the respective city’s climate plan and/or the goal of achieving carbon neutrality
  • – Clearly articulate a pathway to scale up of the initiative
  • – Have community benefits that will be accrued in addition to the emissions reductions (economic, social equity, environmental co-benefits etc.)
  • – Project end date is a maximum of 24 months after the start date (proposals for shorter projects are also accepted)

Ineligible Project Activities

The following projects are ineligible for the Climate Innovation Fund Grant Program:

  • – Projects without measurable or projected greenhouse gas emissions reductions
  • – Broad public awareness/education/behavioral change campaigns/courses (including K to 12 classroom education)
  • – Redistributing the funding as grants/rebates to other organizations
  • – Marketing, surveying/polling and advertising campaigns including projects where the primary activity is an event or one off workshop
  • – Single, one-off, roof-top microgeneration, technology installations, building retrofits or new building projects without an accompanying approach to scaling up across a demographic or sector
  • – Community Gardens


Alberta Ecotrust Foundation recognizes that advocacy is an important function of the voluntary sector and supports activities focused on the good of the public and commons. However, we will not support or fund an initiative that targets or impugns the reputation of any individual, organization, or sector.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has recently made changes to the rules governing the political activities of charities. The CRA has lifted the quantitative limits specified in the Income Tax Act that a charity can only devote a limited portion of its resources (generally, about 10%) to non-partisan political activities that are ancillary and incidental to its charitable purposes. This is good news for charities and allows them to participate more fully in the democratic process of contributing to and improving public policy.


However, the rules prohibiting charitable organizations from devoting any part of their resources to the direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, a political party or candidate for public office remain in effect. Like all registered charities, AEF is subject to these restrictions. This includes any political activity we undertake ourselves directly, or those activities we indirectly support by providing grants. As such, any projects that undertake this type of activity will be ineligible for an AEF grant.

For more information, please read the CRA guidance document CG-027 – Public policy dialogue and development activities by charities (Guidance), found here.

Eligible Expenses

Grant funds can be used for any costs deemed reasonable and directly related to the project. We encourage applicants to use full cost accounting when determining the project budget. This includes:

  • – Salaries
  • – Contractor wages
  • – Travel and accommodations
  • – Existing programs that address our CIF Focus Areas
  • – Capacity building and knowledge transfer tools (publications, website development etc.)
  • – Capital items, supplies and materials
  • – Portion of rent, telephone, etc.
  • – Project-specific training

*Project start dates are often several months after the application deadline (i.e. mid-October or November).

Ineligible Expenses

Eligible Project Costs shall not include:

  • – Any cost that is not directly related to the Eligible Project with reasonable limits on pro-rated Administrative Expenses
  • – Any non-auditable expense
  • – Any cost incurred prior to the receipt of an application for Grant Funds
  • – Non-recoverable taxes, interest charges or financing fees
  • – General business development costs not directly related to an Eligible Project or any fundraising costs
  • – Any cost relating to lobbying activities undertaken by, or on behalf of, the Eligible Recipient for the purpose of obtaining the award of a contract, grant, contribution or any other financial benefit from, or on behalf of, the federal government or provincial government.



The CIF Grant Program Guidelines document is intended to make the program parameters clear and assist applicants in ensuring their project will be a good fit for a CIF grant. In addition to the program guidelines document we highly recommend that interested parties review the evaluation criteria laid out in our application scorecard.




One of the criteria for CIF Grant projects is estimated potential greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. To that end, Alberta Ecotrust has developed a simplified Carbon Benefit Estimator to guide applicants in the assessment of their proposed project. The tool is optional; applicants can prepare their own GHG reduction estimates as long as they provide sufficient detail regarding calculation methodology and assumptions.

The team at Alberta Ecotrust is available to provide support to applicants using the Carbon Benefit Estimator. Emissions reduction potential generated by the tool are high-level estimates at how much carbon benefit the project could generate over the next 20 years. For approved projects, GHG impact can continue to be refined over the course of the project.

Please note that detailed emissions reduction calculations are not needed at the Expression of Interest stage. We are simply hoping to understand the pathway to reductions that you are anticipating. For those needing assistance, GHG Quantification will be undertaken in partnership with Alberta Ecotrust staff for organizations invited to submit a Full Application




This is a beta version of the Carbon Benefit Estimator and we encourage users to give us feedback or let us know about any bugs that need fixing.




The CIF Grant Program webinar series will provide an opportunity to learn about the 2021 Grant Program goals, including eligibility requirements and the application process. Each webinar will highlight the types of projects we’ll support in our three focus areas, provide example project case studies to inspire applicants, identify potential project collaborators or partners, and ask and answer your questions.



Tuesday, May 4
10 am to 11 am



Monday, May 17
2 pm to 3 pm



Wednesday, June 16
10 am to 11 am