Alberta expands reach of climate change fund to include forestry sector, calls for applications for C$40M in funding for projects that reduce CO2 emissions by Feb. 21, part of province's strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 50 megatonnes/year by 2020 , October 10, 2013 () – The Alberta not-for-profit that's spent the past four years investing $217 million into clean technology projects is setting its sights on greening the province's agriculture, forestry and waste management sectors.

The Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation called Wednesday for organizations to apply for $40 million in funding designated to support biological projects that will result in net greenhouse gas reductions in Alberta. This includes projects aimed at reducing CO2 emissions produced as byproducts of farming and livestock management, forestry, and municipal and industrial waste management. It also includes projects using biological organisms or bio-based materials to reduce emissions in industrial systems, such as the oilsands.

Eric Newell, the former Syncrude Canada Ltd. CEO who now chairs the CCEMC, said it's the first time the organization has issued an RFP specifically for biological projects. CCEMC was created in 2009 and tasked with investing in clean technologies using money from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund, a fund Alberta's big industrial emitters pay into to comply with Alberta's climate change legislation.

Newell said the majority of projects funded so far by CCEMC have been intended for use in the energy industry, but if the province wants to meet its goal of reducing net carbon emissions by 50 megatonnes per year by 2020, it needs to expand its reach.

"Not only do we have phenomenal energy resources in Alberta, but we're also blessed with phenomenal agriculture and forestry resources. So in dealing with the world's carbon cycle, it gives us a lot of flexibility," Newell said. "We think there's huge potential."

Susan Wood-Bohm, executive director of the Biological GHG Management Program, said one independent analysis has suggested the potential for carbon reduction in the biological sector is huge.

"They felt that it was quite reasonable for us to identify 23 megatonnes a year that could be addressed by this reduction in biological sectors like agriculture or forestry," Wood-Bohm said. "I think that's a good number for us to strive for."

While this is the first RFP aimed specifically at the biological sector, CCEMC is already funding a handful of projects related to agriculture and forestry. Examples include a project aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions linked to fertilizer use, and a project that aims to use wood residue from logging operations to clean up chemical contaminants in produced water from oilsands operations.

Projects funded by CCEMC can be developed anywhere in the world, though the core technology must be applicable in Alberta. Since its inception, CCEMC has invested in 51 projects, with recent focus areas being cleaner energy, carbon capture, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

The deadline for organizations to apply for the latest round of funding is February 21.

CCEMC will be in Edmonton Thursday to announce eight renewable energy projects that, combined, will receive more than $46 million in funding from a previous RFP.

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