Boreal
Climate Solutions Forests play a critical role in reaching emissions goal © Michael Pietrocarlo

Newsroom

Climate Action and Indigenous-Led Conservation Prioritized in New Federal Mandate

Ministers called to “make progress on the issues that matter most” to Canadians, including environment, reconciliation, climate and a strong economy

Ottawa, ON

In its new mandate, the Federal Government has committed to world-leading action on climate change and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and recognized that it is “more important than ever for Canadians to unite and build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient country.”

The Speech from the Throne, as well as the mandate letters to newly appointed Ministers, also set strong targets for nature protection while promoting sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all Canadians.

Nature United applauds this ambitious mandate that prioritizes nature as the foundation of strong communities, and economies, as well as the commitment to work with Indigenous Peoples, provinces and territories, and global leaders, in particular:

  • A whole-of-government plan for climate action, a cleaner environment and a sustainable economy that includes exceeding current 2030 emissions-reduction targets and developing a plan to achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050;
  • The introduction of legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the end of 2020, as well as continued efforts to support Indigenous-led processes for rebuilding and reconstituting their historic nations, advancing self-determination and, for First Nations, transitioning away from the Indian Act;
  • A new ambitious plan to conserve 25 per cent of Canada’s land and 25 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2025, working toward 30 per cent of each by 2030, which will be grounded in science, Indigenous knowledge and local perspectives;
  • Canadian leadership in support of international conservation targets, Indigenous-led conservation and efforts to combat climate change;
  • The creation of a Tourism Community Infrastructure Fund to invest $100 million in communities that rely on tourism, over the next four years, as part of the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy that encourages tourism as an economic driver, including Indigenous tourism; and
  • Supporting the transition of Indigenous communities from reliance on diesel-fueled power to clean, renewable and reliable energy by 2030.

The new role of Deputy Prime Minister amplifies these federal commitments, including working in partnership with provincial, territorial and municipal governments and Indigenous partners, communities and governments.

Achieving a federal target of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 is only possible by advancing Natural Climate Solutions that better manage, conserve and restore forests, grasslands, agricultural lands, wetlands, and coastal areas, in addition to planting trees and other efforts. These solutions will reduce climate change and support sustainability in our forest and agricultural sectors. Nature United looks forward to supporting the Ministers of Natural Resources, as well as the Environment and Climate Change, in implementing the $3-billion Nature Climate Solutions Fund announced in the election platform.

Overall, this new mandate builds on the previous government’s great strides in tackling climate change and advancing Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples, as well as advancing protection of Canada’s lands and waters, in particular through establishment of the $1.3-billion Nature Fund.

Nature United looks forward to working with the federal government in achieving its new goals, drawing from our international expertise in Natural Climate Solutions, conservation finance, and working with Indigenous communities, as well as our on-the-ground experience in Canada.

Nature United was founded as an Canadian charity in 2014, building on decades of conservation in Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, the organization has field staff located across the country. Nature United supports Indigenous leadership, sustainable economic development, and science and large-scale conservation, primarily in the Great Bear Rainforest, Clayoquot Sound, the Northwest Territories, and northern Manitoba.

We are the Canadian affiliate of The Nature Conservancy (nature.org), the world’s largest conservation organization, with more than 3,600 staff worldwide, 400 scientists and 1 million supporters. TNC tackles leading conservation threats at the greatest scale to help people and nature thrive, and is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 72 countries.