Nature Canada

IPCC’s “Code Red for humanity” extends to all life on Earth

In the midst of mass extinction our climate strategy must also stabilize the planet’s ecosystems



The IPCC report released yesterday warns that we have reached “Code Red for humanity” in the climate crisis. Nature Canada is reminding the public and decision-makers that it’s more than just humanity at stake. Wildlife populations around the world will collapse if we don’t act immediately to protect and restore key climate-fighting ecosystems like the boreal forest, prairie grasslands, wetlands, and salt marsh. These natural climate solutions will be critical to addressing the dual crises of climate change and species loss. 

Natural climate solutions could reduce Canada’s greenhouse gasses by as much as 78Mt a year in 2030 (over 10% of Canada’s total emissions). The most effective climate strategies combine natural solutions with ending fossil fuel use and investing in renewable energy to drastically reduce net emissions and restore nature at the same time.

“Natural climate solutions like replanting forests, restoring wetlands and protecting ocean ecosystems are a critical one-two punch in our climate-fighting repertoire,” says Gauri Sreenivasan, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Nature Canada. “No other strategy on the table can capture carbon and reverse the extinction by protecting and restoring nature at the same time. And natural solutions provide protection from climate impacts like the floods and fires we’ve seen this year, too. Protecting and restoring nature is a key part of what the IPCC’s ‘code red’ calls for if we want a liveable planet by 2100.”

In Canadian cities increasingly threatened by climate impacts like floods, heat waves, air pollution, fires and storms, green infrastructure like urban wetlands and green roofs can help cool the air, absorb excess water, and reduce energy use while supporting biodiversity and making cities more liveable.

Nature-based climate solutions are also cost-effective and are expected to stimulate our economy through the creation of new jobs or revenue streams for Indigenous communities, farmers, ranchers and foresters. 

“The energy transition is vital but the only thing that will help stop mass species extinction is a nature-positive approach,” says Emily McMillan, Deputy Executive Director of Nature Canada. “We must invest in the power of nature to fight climate change.”

In response to the IPCC’s report today and as we look toward a possible election, Canada’s policy-makers must adopt a nature-positive approach in their climate plans. For more information on Nature Canada’s campaign for natural climate solutions visit


For more information contact: 

Scott Mullenix

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.