Canada’s Climate Finance Distribution Channels

Canada’s main climate finance distribution channels are the Climate Investment Funds, Global Environment Facility, and Green Climate Fund. Over 50 developing economies benefit from fast-start financing through Canadian bilateral and multilateral channels.

Distribution by Region

With regard to direct financing, about ¼  is channeled to sub-Saharan Africa and over 33 percent flows to the Caribbean and Latin America. Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East account for 2 percent each. The number of countries benefiting from contributions by Canada is larger under the Least Developed Country Fund and the Global Environment Facility, which are both multilateral trust funds.

Green Climate Fund

A network of more than 200 entities, the Green Climate Fund works closely with developing economies on projects, from design to deployment. The network includes civil society organizations, UN agencies, equity funds, national, regional, and multilateral institutions, and national and international commercial banks. The types of financing instruments available are mainly in the form of crowd-in private investment leverage blended finance, equity instruments, guarantees, concessional debt, and grants.

The network channels half of the resources toward adaptation and half toward climate change mitigation. At least 50 percent of the resources for mitigation glow to Africa states, small islands developing states, and the least developed countries, which are also the most vulnerable. Adaptation areas include ecosystem services and ecosystems, built environment and infrastructure, and water and food security, wellbeing, and health. Programs and projects with a focus on climate change mitigation aim at reforestation, improved utilization of land, use of wind, solar, and other clean sources, and energy-efficient appliances and buildings.

Global Environment Facility

Canada also channels funds through the Global Environment facility, together with 40 donor countries such as Italy, China, the U.S, UK, Sweden, South Africa, and the Russian Federation. GEF’s main focus areas are climate change, biodiversity, land degradation, chemicals and waste, and international waters. The facility works with a number of implementing agencies such as the UN Industrial Development Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Bank, and Conservation International. The main sources of financing are the GEF Trust Fund, multi trust funds, and Least Developed Countries Fund.

Climate Investment Funds

The funds act as a finance mechanism to support projects in the areas of sustainable forests, climate resilience, energy access and clean technology. The fund offers long-term, low-cost financing to middle income and developing countries. The largest share of financing flows to Asia (32 percent), followed by Africa (27 percent), Latin America and the Caribbean (21 percent), Central Asia and Europe (13 percent), and Middle East (4 percent). The total contribution by 14 donor counties stands at $8 billion, with expected co-financing of $53 billion.

The funds support a wide variety of projects with a focus on climate change, including initiatives to support forestry, improve water availability, and develop insurance products for semi-arid and arid zones. The main focus areas are landscape management and agriculture, urban development, water resources management, agroforestry, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Funds partnering with developing and middle income countries include the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, Clean Technology Fund, Forest Investment Program, and Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries.

Canada’s Climate Finance Initiatives and Programs

Canada is contributing a total of $2.65 billion to climate finance initiatives and programs in developing countries. The goal is to ensure sustainable growth and use of natural and environmental resources around the world. The federal government works with institutional investors and philanthropists to ensure that states can adequately address climate change and pollution.


Canada supports climate initiatives in countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, Albania, Serbia, and Georgia. In Albania, for example, the IFC-Canada Climate Change program extended a line of credit to a financial institution committed to offering sustainable energy financing. The goal is to offer energy efficiency funding to medium-sized, small, and corporate customers. In Serbia, the authorities of the City of Belgrade implemented a public-private partnership project to build waste treatment facilities.

Caribbean and Latin America

Canada is involved in climate finance initiatives in a number of countries, including Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Costa Rica. A program to adapt community-based water supply and respond to changing climate has been implemented in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. The project examined the impact of climate change on water supply and availability in the three countries. The emphasis was on best practices and ways in which community-based organizations can contribute to water security in peri-urban and rural areas. Following a severe earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Canada, as part of the World Meteorological Organization provided assistance to rebuild Haiti’s hydrological and meteorological capabilities. The focus was on infrastructure development, conservation and management of natural resources, agriculture, and risk management. Canada also contributed $4.9 to assist efforts at reducing the impact of natural disasters through water conservation, management of forestry and agriculture resources, and protection of watersheds.


The Canadian government supports projects across Africa and in Egypt, Congo, Central African Republic, and Sudan to name a few. Canada offered support to the Congo Basin Forest Fund in an effort to mitigate climate change and reduce poverty through slowing and reversing deforestation in the area of the Congo Basin. Canada also provided $2 million to the Congo Basin Forest Fund to facilitate conversation efforts and the implementation of forest management projects.

In Cameroon, the government offered support for the Eco Agricultural Business for Changes in Climate initiative. The goal is to ensure improved availability and access to safe and nutritious food and support food producers Eastern and Southern Cameroon. The initiative aims to ensure that businesses are sustainable and profitable and targets aboriginal communities, youth, women, and other vulnerable groups.

In Rwanda, Canada extended $23.2 million to ensure access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food in communities that are vulnerable to climate change, especially those in returnee and refugee areas in the Kayonza and Gatsibo districts. Finally, in Uganda, Canada provided support and advisory for the timely structuring and deployment of a hydropower facility to be constructed and operated under a public-private partnership agreement.

Funding Channels – Smart Borrowing

Secured Credit and Smart Home Buying

Financing is mostly available through government aid agencies and multilateral and bilateral financial institutions, with both private and public entities raising and distributing funds. Bilateral projects are financed by Global Affairs Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada. Examples of multilateral funds are the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the Green Climate Fund.  GEF offers funding and support to multiple partners, including research institutions, private sector companies, civil society organizations, and government agencies. The funds are channeled to both countries in transition and developing economies to meet their obligations under international agreements and conventions. The World Bank acts as a trustee that monitors implementation, prepared financial reports, and distributes funds. There are also multilateral development banks such as the Inter-American, Asian Development, and World Bank. The main types of delivery instruments are market-rate and concessional loans and grants. Public and private/public investments are also channeled to projects in developing countries.

Shaping Science Policy to Improve Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Reshaping science policy and institutional structures can have a significant positive impact on marginalized groups and communities. The scientific community has long been working to improve inclusion, diversity, and equity and thus facilitate collaboration and foster innovation and discovery. To fully address the problem, there is a need to develop strategies and policies that offer underrepresented populations equal opportunities to advance their careers.

Barriers to Inclusion, Equitable Access, and Diversity

A number of factors contribute to the under-representation of women, visible minorities, people with disabilities, and Indigenous people in science and institutional settings. These include biased indicators of excellence, stereotyping, gendered language, unconscious bias, and few role models.  Unconscious bias is still a source of concern and a barrier to gender equality. Analysis by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada shows, for example, that reference letters for female medical faculty are more vague and shorter and focus less on research. Overall, 13 percent of letters for male faculty contained the words “achievement” and “accomplishment” compared to 4 percent for female academic personnel. The average letter length is 253 for men and 227 for women. Women and other underrepresented groups are also more likely to face barriers such as a more limited access to research funding and less lab time. Their publications are often seen as less significant as well. Additionally, underrepresented academics are more likely to take a break from employment due to medical, community, family, and parental reasons.

Shaping Science Policy to Overcome Barriers

Questions to Address

Professionals and organizations at all levels must play an active role in shaping science policy, including policy-makers, research funding agencies, administrators, scientists, faculty members, trainees, and students. Recognizing that barriers exist is an important first step toward overcoming them. The next is to identify specific challenges and barriers that underrepresented populations face, for example racialized minorities, persons with impairments, LGBT, and women. It is also crucial to examine the impact of systemic barriers on professionals who identify with two or more groups /like sexuality, gender, race, and ethnicity/. Additionally, a major question to be addressed is how bias affects the lives and experiences of individuals in their role of administrators, researchers, faculty, and students.

Training and Development

When it comes to training and development opportunities, including networking, conferences, and workshops, policies must be set in place to ensure that opportunities are clearly communicated with all eligible team members. The policies that institutions adopt must include safeguards so that professionals with care and family responsibilities and career interruptions have access to training and development opportunities. If funding is available for accommodation, child care, and travel, it is important to ensure that all team members have been notified and have equitable access to funding.

Diversity Training

Diversity training aims to enhance core competencies by addressing workplace accommodation of persons with disabilities, reconciliation, micro-aggregations, unconscious bias, anti-discrimination, and anti-racism. Training can include topics such as accommodation and accessibility, intercultural competence, bias awareness, reconciliation, inclusive workplaces, and diverse and inclusive research environments.

Resources for Team Members

All team members must have access to culturally-specific and appropriate resources such as accommodation offices, nursing rooms, onsite child care, medication and prayer rooms, facilities for staff fasting for religious reasons, etc.  Policies should be set in place to allow team members to take leave for ceremonies, celebrations, rituals, and religious obligations. Staff should have access to support services such as relations advisers, disability management professionals, and immigration specialists.