a photo looking up at the large trunks of old growth trees
Climate Solutions Investing in Natural Climate Solutions now means advancing one of the greatest near-term opportunities for cutting emissions © twigymuleford / iStock

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Emissions Reduction Plan integrates Natural Climate Solutions as essential for Canada’s net-zero ambition and green economic transition

Nature United looks forward to working with the Government of Canada to accelerate these solutions and maximize the mitigation potential of nature

Our Response to the 2022 Federal Budget

In uncertain times, Budget 2022 affirms commitments made in last week’s Emissions Reduction Plan and sends a clear message to rights-holders, stakeholders and markets that our federal government is serious about implementing its climate and conservation plans. 

“Natural Climate Solutions has now been hardwired into Canada’s climate plan,” says Hadley Archer, Nature United’s Executive Director. “With Budget 2022, we see the federal government backing up its climate ambition and making critical investments into Indigenous climate leadership, ecosystem protection and new practices in farming and forestry that build towards our net-zero future.” 

With just eight years to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, we look forward to working with the Government of Canada to maximize the power of nature to deliver deep and durable emissions reductions for the benefit of nature and people.  

Our Response to Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan

With the release of its first-ever Emissions Reduction Plan, the Government of Canada has recognized the powerful role of Natural Climate Solutions in reducing emissions while supporting healthy, resilient and prosperous communities.

Natural Climate Solutions—actions to protect, better manage or restore forests, wetlands, grasslands and farmlands to avoid and sequester greenhouse gases—are an essential complement to deep decarbonization efforts in heavy-emitting sectors. Many Natural Climate Solutions are available at less than $50 per tonne of CO2e and are ready to deploy now, providing a biological bridge to a low-carbon future in the near term.

“Climate solutions need to be people solutions. The Emissions Reduction Plan has taken the critical step of integrating and investing in Natural Climate Solutions across sectors, investing in the rights-holders and landowners that must drive change,” says Hadley Archer, Executive Director of Nature United.

Peer-reviewed science shows that Natural Climate Solutions can reduce Canada’s annual emissions by 78 megatonnes in 2030, which is equal to 11% of our 2019 annual emissions. Natural Climate Solutions can also help Canada reach its protection and biodiversity targets, catalyze investment in natural assets and decarbonization, and support the adaptation efforts of local communities and economies on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

“While this Plan makes great strides to realize the Natural Climate Solutions opportunity, there is even more potential in how we manage our vast landscapes,” says Ronnie Drever, Nature United’s Senior Conservation Scientist. “We look forward to working with all levels of government and many other partners to address challenges with data, measurement and adoption that will enable us to maximize the full mitigation power across Canada’s forests, wetlands, grasslands and farmlands.”

In addition to commitments to protect and restore carbon-rich ecosystems and support the adoption of agricultural climate solutions, new investments in research, knowledge transfer and metrics stand to accelerate the uptake of climate-smart agriculture practices and ensure they are counted towards Canada’s climate targets. Similar improvements in the measurement of peatlands, wetlands and grasslands would help Canada gain a more complete picture of the role our ecosystems can play in our emissions-reduction efforts.

“We’re already seeing the impacts of climate change on communities and local economies in Canada,” notes Tyson Atleo, Natural Climate Solutions Program Director at Nature United. “By integrating the full spectrum of Natural Climate Solutions—protection, better management and restoration of nature—the ERP will also create new jobs, contribute to economic recovery and support resiliency.”

Nature United looks forward to working with the Government of Canada to advance this ERP and to incorporate progress in science and implementation to make the plan even more robust. Our collective efforts will put Canada firmly on the path towards a net-zero future by accelerating the contributions of Indigenous communities, farmers and foresters and ensuring they benefit from vibrant and green local economies.

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.