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By conserving, protecting and restoring ecosystems across Canada, Nature-based Climate Solutions pull and store vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, help us adapt to changing landscapes and climate impacts, and improve the health, well-being and resilience of human and non-human species alike.  Nature-based Climate Solutions provide an immediate opportunity to harness the power of nature in the fight against climate change, leading to a reduction of up to 78 Mt CO2e (11% of Canada’s current annual carbon emissions) annually by 2030.


The Policy Details

Our planet has always used natural carbon storage processes in forests, plant matter, soil and oceans.Through new investment, legal protections, policy initiatives and Indigenous authority, Nature-Based Climate Solutions can be supercharged to achieve our federal climate and biodiversity goals together:

Canada's diverse ecosystems, including carbon-rich tundra, peatlands, forests, mangroves and oceans, provide large-scale carbon sequestration and storage there is. To do this most effectively, nature needs a lot of space free from industrial activity and development so our rich diversity of species can thrive. Creating new public, private and Indigenous protected and conserved areas, and stopping destruction of intact ecosystems will provide wide-spread ecosystem services, create new recreation areas for outdoor enthusiasts and provide alternative resilient revenue streams to Indigenous and local communities, farmers, ranchers and foresters.

Climate change is bringing with it bigger storms, rising sea levels, landslides and erosion, flooding, droughts, intense fires and more. Working with nature, we can respond and adapt to these impacts better like investing in wetlands for flood management, planting trees to reduce extreme urban heat, growing drought resistant food crops and more. Innovative designs from infrastructure to materials, inspired by nature can also help us live, work, and play with rather than against nature.

In February 2021, the Quebec municipality of Minganie and Innu Council of Ekuanitshit gave legal personhood to Muteshekau-shipu (the Magpie River), a precedent setting case in Canada and globally! By giving nature the rights to maintain its natural biodiversity, to perform essential functions within its ecosystem and legal standing in courts, nature - through a legal guardian - can seek court order to stop actions that cause harm such as pollution or extraction. While it might sound new (or nuts), this just puts nature on the same footing as oil and gas corporations who already have legal personhood! Rights of Nature are often led or inspired by Indigenous legal traditions which hold land as sacred, in reciprocal relation or interconnected to human rights.