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Parliament Hill atop a dramatic hill overlooking the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario in autumn.
Parliament Hill Parliament Hill is home to Canada's federal government and is the centerpiece of Ottawa’s downtown landscape. © DenisTangneyJr

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Election Shows that Tackling Climate Change is Among Top Issues for Voters Across Canada

We congratulate the newly elected government and applaud the commitment across parties to meet current global emission-reduction targets

Nature United congratulates the re-elected Liberal government and all newly-elected and re-elected Members of Parliament. We celebrate the bold ambition toward addressing the climate crisis and other environmental priorities. The protection of lands and waters, the sustainable management of natural resources, and the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and leadership, as well as significant investments to tackle climate change, were clearly top issues for voters across Canada.

It is now time to raise our ambition to safeguard a Canada where nature is the foundation of healthy communities, economies and future opportunities. Today we are experiencing the human and economic impacts of crises such as COVID-19, wildfires and droughts, and the catastrophic loss of biodiversity—and the impacts to life and livelihoods as these challenges intersect with inequality and other social issues. We urge the federal government to continue working in partnership with provincial governments, Indigenous governments and communities, and the private sector to address critical conservation, biodiversity and climate threats, and contribute to a thriving economy.

Achieving the least costly half of these activities would cost $10 billion. The previous government’s $4-billion commitment to Natural Climate Solutions—including planting 2 billion trees—is a significant investment in the protection, management and restoration of forests, agricultural lands, grasslands and wetlands to reduce these emissions. By investing now, the federal government can leverage private investment in areas such as forest management, agriculture and ag-tech innovations that create jobs and bolster the resilience of these industries to extreme weather, supply-chain disruptions and other impacts of climate change. 

We applaud the commitments across parties to meet global emission-reduction targets in line with global science in order to avoid catastrophic warming. Canadians now must work together toward ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally and at home, and invest in solutions that ensure Canada delivers on them.

Protecting 30% of Canada’s  lands and waters by 2030 will be a victory for nature, communities and our economy. Expanding Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs)—including increased support for Indigenous Guardians programs—is essential to meeting these goals. Recent funding to these programs is commendable. Now we need to secure permanent funding so that Nations across Canada can establish IPCAs and Guardians programs. Upholding the rights and authority of Indigenous Peoples in Canada is not only a legal imperative, but it is also vital for conserving our lands and waters, safeguarding biodiversity and tackling the climate crisis. Conservation can also advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples while investing in local communities.

Nature United looks forward to working with the newly elected government and all parties on:

  • Investments in Natural Climate Solutions that match the scale of the climate crisis, alongside an accelerated transition to deep-decarbonization
  • Recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples and advancing Indigenous-led conservation, in particular through Indigenous Protected Areas and Guardians programs
  • Partnering with industry and provincial governments to advance innovation and increased adoption of Natural Climate Solutions
  • Canada’s contributions toward international commitments such as the Paris Agreement, the UN biodiversity framework, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Canada must continue to live up to its role as a global leader buoyed by strong domestic results, and must set an example for increased ambition around the world.

This is a decisive decade for Canada and our planet—our actions to tackle climate change, protect nature and manage our resources sustainably must be bold and collaborative.

This is a decisive decade for Canada and our planet—our actions to tackle climate change, protect nature and manage our resources sustainably must be bold and collaborative, and they must respect and integrate the rights and leadership of Indigenous Peoples. Canada’s leaders must set an example for global progress. We must inspire hope in young Canadians and safeguard a future for generations to come.

Nature United stands ready with expertise and resources, optimism and a unified approach for tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. We look forward to working with the new federal government to reimagine conservation for the benefit of Canada and the world.

Nature United was founded as a 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 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 more than 70 countries.