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Canada Launches Emissions-Reduction Fund Using VW Dieselgate Fines Collected

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Five years this month, the Dieselgate scandal exploded, with Volkswagen deep in the middle of it. There have been any number of twists and turns since then, but one result was that the German automaker was forced to pay hefty fines, including right here in Canada.

Using a portion of those fines it collected, Canada has decided to create a new fund that will invest in community projects that aim to reduce emissions. A total of $206 million has been placed in the fund, which is part of the government’s new Climate Action and Awareness Fund, the goal of which is to reinforce Canada’s ability to take steps to alleviate damage to the climate by giving young people and groups the means to act, and to stimulate scientific research in the domain.

“The new Climate Action and Awareness Fund will create jobs for Canadians in science and technology, academia, and at the grassroots community level.”

- Johnathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Recall that back in January, a Canadian court imposed a fine totaling $196.5 million on Volkswagen after the automaker pled guilty to dozens of accusations of manipulating emissions tests of its diesel engines. That fine was by far the heaviest sanction ever imposed over environmental infractions in Canadian history, according to prosecutors.

Minister Wilkinson also announced a $50 million investment spread over three years to address certain priorities such as supporting additional research to develop a way to reduce the country’s emissions to net-zero.

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