Purpose of the Fund

Every community can play a role in slowing the rate of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, Nova Scotians already face impacts that will worsen in the decades to come. These impacts are felt differently throughout the province, and disproportionally affect people who are also experiencing other inequities. As a result, effective climate action depends on the local context and is closely connected with other challenges and opportunities that communities face.


The Fund intends to put financial resources into the hands of Nova Scotia municipalities, First Nations, registered non-profits, and post-secondary institutions for local action on climate change. The core objectives are to:

  • Support the implementation of initiatives that avoid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to Nova Scotia’s targets for emission reduction; AND/OR
  • Improve community capacity to adapt in an ongoing way to the changing climate and implement projects that help reduce vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems.

Along with these core objectives, the fund aims to support projects that integrate with other community challenges and opportunities. Funded projects will demonstrate alignment with the goals and principles of the Nova Scotia Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act (EGCCRA) and with the Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth by meeting some or all of the following co-benefits:

  • Enhance social equity and reduce barriers to an equitable climate response.
  • Generate local, green jobs, and grow the clean inclusive economy.
  • Reduce costs and improve affordability.
  • Build and contribute to community wellbeing and health.
  • Work with, protect and enhance natural assets.
  • Contribute to a broader long-term shift and build capacity for future climate change action.
  • Generate shareable knowledge and support replication in other communities in Nova Scotia.
  • Otherwise benefit a community or group of communities.

Available Funding

The Fund will provide non-repayable grants up to 80% of the eligible project costs, and a maximum of $1,000,000 per project. An applicant must make a financial contribution to the project, and their overall contribution may be a combination of cash and in-kind. The required cash contribution depends on the value of the grant request. Projects with a higher value grant request are expected to make a larger contribution, which can include other funding sources.

At least 15% of the Fund will be allocated for projects serving Indigenous and African Nova Scotian communities.

For more information, visit the Funding Opportunities page.

A person rides their bike by the ocean
A Mikmaq person dances in regalia while the audience watches.
Plant vines grow up a fence toward the sun


The Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is developed and administered by the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities (NSFM) on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia. The NSFM is a member-based non-profit organization representing the 49 municipalities in Nova Scotia. NSFM frequently collaborates with other stakeholders to deliver programs and services that make a positive impact in communities. The Fund administration process and staff are a distinct team within NSFM, and applicant projects are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary committee of experts.

The Fund is developed and administered on behalf of the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change (ECC). It is a goal of the Nova Scotia Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act and is financed through the Green Fund. The Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is helping Nova Scotia reach its reduction targets of 53% below 2005 levels by 2030, and net-zero by 2050. It is also aligned with the Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth.

Our Team

Our team is dedicated to administering the Fund in a way that best meets the needs of Nova Scotia’s communities. We are here to support you in your application and to ensure a positive experience for successful recipients. Contact us at any time with questions, concerns or ideas.


Juanita Spencer

CEO, Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities

Debbie Nielsen

Lead Program Manager

Brandon Durkee

Grant Coordinator

Gabriel LeVert

Communications and Engagement Officer

Julia Anctil

Grant Coordinator