COP26: Canada commits to protecting 30% of its territory by 2030

Canada on Saturday pledged to protect 30% of its land and oceans by 2030, as a member of the High Aspiration Coalition for Nature and People and the Global Ocean Alliance.

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It was the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Stephen Gilbolt, who made the announcement during a debate in Glasgow, Scotland, as part of COP26.

The federal government wants to reach the “ambitious goal” of protecting 25% of its territory by 2025 and reach 30% after five years.

Minister Guilbeault also announced that Canada will dedicate 20% of its commitment to climate finance — $5.3 billion — to “nature-based solutions with associated biodiversity benefits in developing countries” over the next five years.

“We have a historic responsibility in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, and we have a responsibility to developing countries,” Gilbolt added during his announcement.

The decision was soon welcomed by the international organization WWF.

Nature-based solutions account for up to 30% of the mitigation measures needed to tackle climate change with a major impact on job creation, population resilience and biodiversity protection. “They are also essential to reverse the loss of nature and ensure a positive world for nature,” WWF International Director-General Marco Lambertini said in a statement.

However, the association wished to recall that the current financing to combat climate change was “completely insufficient to ensure the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement” and called on Canada and other countries to propose additional investments.

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