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Remote First Nations can breathe healthier air with reduced diesel use

April 24, 2023 at 8:27 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

More remote First Nations in British Columbia can move toward clean energy to power their homes, economies and daily lives with a provincial investment in the Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) program.

“First Nations throughout B.C. are taking a leadership role in reducing carbon pollution, and our government is there to partner with them,” said Premier David Eby. “This new investment will help even more remote communities build and expand clean-energy projects that move our province away from diesel and toward a cleaner, brighter future.”

The Premier made the announcement at the annual conference of the First Nations Major Project Coalition where more than 1,300 delegates and attendees are focusing on economic development that aligns with First Nations values, including clean energy.

New funding of $30 million will extend the CEDR program by three years. That means it can fund an estimated 96 projects over its six-year lifespan, including support for First Nations to replace diesel power generation with cleaner options, including hydro-electric, solar, biomass and wind.

“By doubling our investment in the Community Energy Diesel Reduction program, we are supporting some of the hardest-to-reach off-grid Indigenous communities to greatly reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and save money,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “Clean energy and energy efficiency are foundations for a sustainable economy that supports future generations – and First Nations are leading the way in exploring and adopting alternatives to community-scale diesel generators.”

The CEDR program launched in 2022 with a $29-million investment from the Province. Its first intake awarded $7.1 million to help 12 First Nations plan and execute diesel-displacing clean-energy projects or reduce electricity use and costs through energy-efficiency retrofits.

The program is administered by the New Relationship Trust, which is partnering with Coast Funds to support applications from First Nations with communities in the Great Bear Rainforest and on Haida Gwaii. Applications will be open soon.

The CEDR program is part of CleanBC, the Province’s pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC supports government’s commitment to climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets and build a cleaner, stronger economy.

The Province’s CleanBC goal is to reduce diesel consumption by 80% in remote communities by 2030.


Walter Schneider, chief executive officer, New Relationship Trust –

“The New Relationship Trust is excited to maintain the momentum of the CEDR program for an additional three years. This program reflects a shared belief and understanding that diesel displacement in remote communities is both necessary and possible, and that critical progress toward diesel reduction runs parallel with improving quality of life in First Nation communities across B.C.”

Eddy Adra, chief executive officer, Coast Funds –

“Transitioning from diesel power to sustainable energy sources is challenging. We’re pleased to see the Province increase funding for First Nations and remote communities to develop community energy plans and invest in sustainable energy projects that meet local needs, reduce emissions and create economic opportunities.”

Chief Sharleen Gale, chair, First Nations Major Projects Coalition –

“Today’s announcement will help to advance the establishment of clean and reliable energy in remote communities. Many First Nations across British Columbia, including members of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, have made the establishment of clean and reliable energy a priority for their communities and this continued investment announced today by the Premier is welcome news.”

Quick Facts:

  • British Columbia has 44 remote communities, most of which are governed by First Nations.
  • Many of these communities rely on diesel generation for power.
  • In 2019, remote communities consumed at least 19.1 million litres of diesel, emitting the equivalent of 51,784 tonnes of carbon dioxide, about what 11,000 vehicles emit in a year.

Learn More:

Read more about the work of the New Relationship Trust:

For information about Coast Funds, visit:

Find out more about CleanBC:

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