Nature Canada

Leaders Debate on 1 Out of 2 Existential Crises Facing the Planet

Leaders spent a lot of time talking about the cost of acting on the climate crisis but nothing was said about the global extinction crisis and the price that nature is paying.


Ottawa, ON – September 9, 2021 – The climate crisis and the leaders’ plans to address it came up dozens of times in last night’s federal election leader’s debate. But conspicuously absent was any mention of the global biodiversity crisis that is tied to climate change.

This is particularly worrying as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature made news this week highlighting the dual nature of the global crisis.

“We need a credible plan to do both,” says Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada. “Scientists, economists, experts from all over the world are telling us we have to solve the climate crisis and the nature crisis together or we’ll fail to solve both. Canadians deserve to hear how the leaders will halt and reverse nature loss before it’s too late. It was disappointing to hear the debate ignore the mass extinction crisis we’re living through.”

Ahead of the debate, Nature Canada recorded hundreds of submissions to the debate organizers asking for questions on nature protection and the extinction crisis but none of the questions at last night’s debate covered the issue. And despite thousands of letters from Canadians sent to all of the party leaders, none of them mentioned the crisis or cited nature-based climate solutions as part of their platforms.

“Canadians are with us,” says Hannah Dean, Organizing Director for Nature Canada’s more than 1,000 partner groups. “We’ve seen groups and individuals from all across Canada pledge to vote for nature and ask their candidates to stand up for nature. Hundreds of candidates are debating on this issue at the local level but somehow it didn’t make it to the national stage.”

This week’s leaders’ debates coincided with the “100 Debates on the Environment” organized by GreenPAC which raised the issues of climate change, biodiversity, and environmental protection at the local level and helped inform voters about their candidates’ stances on the environment. Also this week, the environmental coalition “One Earth One Vote” released the parties’ responses to its survey on 10 critical issues related to the climate and biodiversity crises.


For more information contact: 

Scott Mullenix

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