02/10/2016 01:36 EST | Updated 02/10/2017 05:12 EST

Catherine McKenna Unveils Green Grants, Loans For 20 Cities, Towns

The $31.5-million in funding will help communities improve standards

OTTAWA — The federal government is promising new funding for environmental projects with municipal grants and loans to 20 cities and towns across the country.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is announcing the funding in a speech to about 400 delegates of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

catherine mckenna

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna arrives for a press conference with Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr last month. (Photo: Fred Chartrand/CP)

The Liberal minister says the $31.5-million in federal money will help communities improve local standards for air, water and soil quality.

Among the projects McKenna cited for funding were a net-zero-emissions library being built in Varennes, Que., and a Halifax project to install solar hot-water systems in local homes.

The funding will be used to pay for capital projects and also to support planning, field tests and studies related to future green projects.

McKenna says cities have direct control over 40 per cent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions while being on the front lines of climate risks posed by global warming.

Also on HuffPost

Photo gallery Drone Images Highlight Climate Change See Gallery