The Net Zero Accelerator (NZA) initiative invites forward-looking Canadian companies to contribute to Canada's global leadership efforts by meeting its ambitious target of reducing GHG emissions by 40 to 45% by 2030, and achieve net zero by 2050. The NZA supports the Government of Canada's strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, to deliver a stronger economy that thrives in a low-carbon world to the benefit of all Canadians. With up to $8 billion in funding to support large-scale investments in key industrial sectors across the country, the NZA ensures that Canada:
- remains competitive in a net-zero economy
- reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
The NZA has been in high demand since its launch in 2020. The Strategic Innovation Fund is prioritizing projects that can deliver near-term emissions reductions to help meet the 2030 target.
The following NZA investment pillars have been chosen to maximize the impact of program investments:
Decarbonization of large emitters
Focusing on near-term emissions reduction — Under this pillar, investments aim to help Canada's largest emitting industrial sectors such as oil and gas and heavy industry (steel, aluminum, cement, mining and mineral processing and chemicals) dramatically reduce their current domestic GHG footprint faster and with less financial risk. This pillar primarily supports Canada's 2030 climate goals, while aligning with 2050 objectives. With the right investments, this pillar could preserve thousands of jobs across Canada for decades to come.
Investment principles for the decarbonization of large emitters
- Support Canada's 2030 emissions reduction target, while remaining in line with the net-zero by 2050 goal
- Prioritize developed technologies that can be used by 2030
- Prioritize projects that will have additional or quicker benefits than would have been achieved without NZA investment
- Provide meaningful reductions in domestic GHG emissions, with strong preference given to those with quantifiable and direct GHG reductions
Helping established industries transition to the net-zero economy — Under this pillar, investments are aimed at ensuring that established industrial sectors remain successful and competitive in the net-zero global economy of the future. Given the objective of achieving net zero within less than three decades and rapidly increasing global competition in developing clean-growth sectors, Canada's industrial base in key sectors such as automotive transportation, aerospace and electricity (or electrification) needs to shift quickly towards net-zero models.
Investment principles for industrial transformation
- Help to move sectors away from GHG-intensive activities
- Help sectors research, develop and adopt new processes and products with low carbon intensity, for Canadian and international markets
- Prioritize proposals that are part of a group of coordinated projects and will have sector-wide impacts
- Support projects that show significant potential to generate medium- to long-term GHG impacts
Clean technology and battery ecosystem development
Capitalizing on net-zero opportunities by fostering emerging sectors — Under this pillar, investments are aimed at capitalizing on emerging clean economy opportunities, establishing Canada as a global clean tech leader and promoting the development of clean technologies such as hydrogen; carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS); and a made-in-Canada battery ecosystem.
Investment principles for clean technology and battery ecosystem development
- Support disruptive technologies that significantly and positively change how a sector works from a GHG emissions perspective
- Prioritize investment in emerging clean technologies shown to have market potential
- Support creation of a domestic battery ecosystem and supply chain in Canada
- Support projects that show significant potential to achieve medium- to long-term GHG impacts
Our investment decisions under each pillar are guided by these core investment principles:
- Build a balanced portfolio — Make sensible investments across all of the pillars to advance both 2030 and 2050 climate goals
- Maximize leverage — Bring together funding partners from a range of public and private sectors and highlight projects with a higher share of private investment
- Work with provinces and territories — Support investments that are aligned with provincial and territorial decarbonization priorities and consider regional environmental, industrial and economic needs
Other investment decision considerations include a project's ability to:
- deliver on intended outcomes
- create and maintain high-skill, long-term employment in Canada
- develop supply chains and intellectual property opportunities
- promote Canadian global competitiveness
Interested in applying?
The NZA is part of the Strategic Innovation Fund, which accepts applications on an ongoing, non-competitive basis. If you are thinking about applying, contact us for an initial conversation.
To start the application process, visit How to apply to the Strategic Innovation Fund.
Be prepared to describe your planned or potential reductions in GHG emissions along with your innovation and technological enhancements.
Note: There will be a due diligence review if your proposal advances to the full application stage. In this review, we will validate your GHG reduction estimates before informing you of the outcome of your funding application.
The Net-Zero Challenge
Encouraging companies to transition their facilities and operations to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.