Engineering receives $4 million in urban climate improvement funding

A new Western-led project developing new tools and technologies to improve the accuracy of energy and climate models of buildings has been awarded $4 million by the Canadian government as part of efforts to reach the country’s net-zero emissions goal by in 2050.

Kamran Siddiqui

“Fighting climate change and mitigating its catastrophic consequences requires a collective approach involving conscientious action from the household to the municipal and government levels,” said project leader and mechanical engineering professor Kamran Siddiqui.

The project focuses on improving energy and climate models to better assess the main contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings and their overall impact on urban climate.

“We want to find better ways to support different stakeholders, from individuals and businesses to communities and cities, in developing short- and long-term mitigation and adaptation strategies and actions,” Siddiqui said. “An important component of this project is knowledge mobilization, because this research won’t have a meaningful impact if we can’t actually share it with stakeholders or motivate Canadians to make a real change in their lives.”

The project, improved modeling of larger-scale GHG emissions from urban environments to improve mitigation strategies, will also promote new policy tools to reduce financial barriers to implementing these proposed actions to assist the Canadian government in achieving targets outlined in the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, 2021.

Siddiqui, an expert in thermal sciences and fluid mechanics, said the project will also incorporate the two-way interaction between building energy and climate models to better understand how building energy use (accounting for more than 40% of GHG emissions in Canada) influences the urban environment. which will help improve future climate predictions and GHG mitigation strategies.

This five-year project was announced by Environment and Climate Change Canada on November 23. It has a budget of $5.56 million, with a contribution of $4.04 million from the federal government, including $3.78 million from the Canada Environmental Damages Fund.

“Scientific research underpins everything we do to fight climate change. This funding provides critical support, enabling government and academia to work together to explore practical and achievable solutions to climate change. By leveraging our unique expertise, we can foster collaboration across disciplines, sectors, communities and research bodies,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, at the official announcement in Ottawa.

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