Congratulations to First Ministers on Approval of Pan-Canadian Climate Framework

Image of Stephen Hazell

Stephen Hazell
Director of Conservation
and General Counsel

Congratulations to Prime Minister Trudeau and provincial and territorial premiers who approved the historic Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change on December 9. The Framework lays out a plan allowing Canada to do its part in addressing the looming global climate catastrophe. The Framework will be very good for nature conservation, assuming it gets implemented. Think of the Pan-Canadian Framework as the end of the beginning, certainly not the end, nor even the beginning of the end, to paraphrase Churchill.

Establishing a national approach to carbon pricing in the Framework was an especially hard-fought victory; kudos to the Prime Minister and Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, for getting Canada going as a nation on pricing carbon emissions.

The Framework recognizes that living natural infrastructure such as restoring or building wetlands and urban forests can build the resilience of communities and ecosystems to cope with climate-related hazards such as flooding and wildfires. Investing in natural adaptation solutions can reduce disaster risks but also benefit biodiversity and provide new opportunities for Canadians to experience nature.

The Framework also recognizes that protecting and restoring natural areas, such by creating new National Parks, National Wildlife Areas, provincial parks or indigenous protected areas, can also benefit biodiversity and maintain or enhance carbon storage.

What are some next specific steps the federal government could take to deliver the Pan-Canadian Framework while advancing nature conservation? Here are a few key Green Budget Coalition recommendations for the 2017 budget:

  • Allocate 30 per cent of Green Infrastructure funding for natural infrastructure investments
  • Invest $145 million in 2017-18 and $95 million subsequently to establish new protected areas to meet Canada’s international commitments on biodiversity and climate change
  • Phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

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