VANCOUVER - Ottawa is offering $500 million to businesses, local governments and advocacy groups for new ideas on how to cut Canada's carbon footprint.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the government's Low Carbon Economy Challenge will dole out the money over the next four years to fund projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while also saving energy and creating green jobs.

McKenna says those projects could look to cut emissions in the forest industry, make homes more energy efficient, or clean up the transportation sector.

Groups of all sizes will be eligible for $450 million of the funding, while $50 million is being set aside for Indigenous communities, small- and medium-sized businesses, non-profit organizations and small municipalities.

McKenna made the announcement Wednesday at a conference in Vancouver

She says the government wants to hear the country's best ideas for reducing carbon pollution, building a more sustainable world and spurring the clean growth economy.