Climate and Sustainability Fund

This fund supports communities and businesses in Wellington city to undertake climate action.

Fund details 

Closed: This fund is currently closed for applications, decisions will be made at the 04 October Pītau Pūmanawa | Grants Subcommittee. Please reach out to find out more about upcoming rounds.  
Contact: Raven Maeder, Community and Funding Advisor - Climate Action:
Value:  $250,000 per financial year for five years (2021-2026).  See past allocations (226KB PDF)

About this fund

The Climate and Sustainability Fund is an initiative in the Council's Te Atakura - First to Zero climate action plan to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 and create a culture of climate change action in Wellington.

Council has up to $250,000 to allocate over our 2023/24 financial year. The focus of this funding round is to support climate action projects and initiatives that are Māori-led, and/or projects that will deliver measurable emissions reductions in the short term (towards our 2030 emissions reduction targets). These are priority areas for the Fund that have been underfunded to date.

Māori-led projects

The focus of this funding round is to support projects and areas consistent with outcomes from our Tūpiki Ora Māori Strategy. Within the Wellington City Council Climate and Sustainability Fund, Māori-led projects are those that:

  • provide activities or opportunities for Māori individuals, whānau, hapū, iwi or other Māori communities to build capacity to take climate action.
  • have a foundation in Te Ao Māori philosophy and principles, and apply Māori language
  • the applicant groups or project leaders are predominantly Māori.

This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Māori-led projects that build capacity to support mana whenua and Māori living in Wellington to reduce emissions.
  • projects that build capacity for Māori-led groups to develop climate action plans and potential climate action activities.
  • projects that enable electrification of marae (transitioning away from gas) and support marae to act as emergency hubs in their rohe for natural disasters.
  • educational projects to support intergenerational mātauranga on climate change and prepare and empower Māori communities for the transition.

Measurable emissions reductions;

We are looking for projects that can show a meaningful link to Wellington's major emission sources. The activities that have the biggest impact on Wellington's contribution to climate change are transport, buying "stuff" (for example, clothing, food or electronics), electricity and natural gas, and food waste. You can find Wellington specific data on the city's emissions here. Priority will be given to projects that deliver co-benefits beyond emissions reductions or are scalable.

This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Community groups or other collectives delivering emission reduction activities (e.g. a Business Improvement District, a street working together), particularly where these activities are new approaches that could be adopted by others.
  • Piloting new ways of operating in business that, if they show significant emission reductions, could be adopted by others.
  • Businesses innovating zero carbon or circular economy solutions that have the potential to transform their sector or create a new market. This includes products and services that enable Wellingtonians to reduce their emissions.
  • Improve access to communal and personal bicycle, e-bike or electric scooters for low-income Wellingtonians including bike hubs and bike loan programmes.
  • Education and events to encourage the uptake of more efficient energy use by communities, electrification, and reduction in power costs for low-income Wellingtonians
  • Encouraging shifts in food choices, reducing consumption of meat and dairy and eating more plant-based meals, more often.

Applicants must be a legal entity, those groups or organisations that are not can apply using an umbrella agreement with another organisation. Applications are made through the online funding portal. See the funding calendar for closing and decision dates.

Only project expenses that start after the decision date are eligible for funding.

To learn more about what climate change means for Wellington, the work Council is doing and how you can act on climate change, visit Climate change - Wellington City Council.

First-time applicants

Read the information on this page, then register and apply online through our funding portal: Funding Portal - Apply online

Check your application status

If you have applied for funding from the Council before, you can create a new funding request by logging into the funding portal. If you receive an error message when trying to access the funding portal on a mobile device please use these instructions or contact the Funding Team.

Go to Funding Portal

Fund criteria

Initiatives must be designed to achieve at least one of the following aims of the fund:

1. Advance Wellingtonians' understanding and uptake of the climate action challenge thereby contributing to meeting our 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction goals

  • Preference for these grants will be initiatives that create impact beyond themselves
  • Initially the bulk of the fund will be allocated to these types of initiatives that significantly reduce emissions

2. Reduce carbon emissions significantly in the shorter term thereby contributing to the city's 2030 carbon reduction target.

  • Preference for these grants will be to initiatives that significantly reduce emissions
  • The percentage of the fund allocated to this purpose will increase over the lifetime of the fund


To be eligible to apply to this fund, applicants must:

  • be a legal entity (or community group using an umbrella), this includes Maori entities, schools, social enterprises or businesses
  • be willing to partner with Wellington City Council to share knowledge, learning and support our Te Atakura - First to Zero strategy
  • be based in Wellington city, or deliver benefits within the Wellington City Council rate paying area (up to and including Tawa, but not Porirua or Petone)
  • demonstrate capability and capacity to deliver the type of project proposed, and preferably have a track record of delivering similar projects.

Note: applications will not be accepted for initiatives that move emissions out of Wellington city boundary.

What we are unlikely to fund

  • Projects which don't have a strong climate action and/or carbon emissions reduction focus
  • Political advocacy
  • Legal action


Priority will be given to projects that:

  • demonstrate equity across communities in relation to access to climate action information and ability to act
  • are governed by, and/or developed in partnership with mana whenua
  • lead towards a net zero-carbon economy by 2050
  • demonstrate collaboration and co-funding (including in-kind)
  • have a plan to be self-sustaining and financially viable post Council funding.


Applications will be assessed by our external review panel based on the following assessment criteria.

  • Measurable change; the initiative has tangible outcomes that can be measured and produce learnings that can contribute to a broader movement of change.

AND Deliverable; the initiative is ready and able to be delivered within the timeframe stated.

  • Impact; there is clear evidence that the initiative will contribute to building a culture of climate change action and/or reduce carbon emissions.
  • Scalable; the initiative has the ability to be scaled (or replicated) to increase the impact over time.
  • Legacy; the initiative can deliver ongoing benefit and/or demonstrate the potential for lasting long-term impact.
  • Unintended consequences; the applicant has identified (where possible) and considered unintended socio-cultural, economic or environmental impacts (positive or negative).

Contact us

Raven Maeder, Community and Funding Advisor – Climate Action
Mobile: 021 229 4151