Photo: Pat Kane
Landmark study underscores the importance of natural climate solutions for Canada
2021

A newly released landmark study, led by Nature United, showcased the potential for natural climate solutions to offer powerful and cost-effective ways to tackle the climate crisis.

Natural climate solutions for Canada, peer-reviewed and published on June 4, 2021 in Science Advances, was the culmination of over two years of research and collaboration with 16 institutions and 38 leading experts from academia, governments, and non-governmental organizations in Canada and the United States.

The research found that natural climate solutions — actions to protect, better manage, or restore nature — could help mitigate up to 78 megatonnes of CO2e annually in 2030, which is more than one-tenth of current greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and equal to powering every single home in the country for about three years.

The study examined four ecosystems — agricultural lands, forests, wetlands and grasslands — and highlighted 24 pathways for climate action. The pathways were found to be not only powerful in our fight against climate change, but cost effective — with many available at less than $50 per tonne of CO2e.

Media coverage of the findings was widespread, including:

Vital to the achievement of Canada’s 2030 climate target and net-zero by 2050, natural climate solutions need to be developed and implemented as a partnership between governments, Indigenous and local communities, and industry to realize the maximum social, environmental, and economic benefits.

Guided by findings from this landmark research, our Carbon Landscapes initiative will now prioritize funding to protect and conserve three landscapes highlighted in the study for their carbon richness among other values: peatlands, grasslands, and old growth forests.

To learn more about the study and results, visit the Nature United website. To share the landmark findings of what natural climate solutions can offer for Canada, use this communications toolkit.

Natural climate solutions for Canada is the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of the potential of nature to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Metcalf is proud to be a lead funder of the study along with Hewlett Foundation, RBC Foundation, McCall MacBain Foundation, Echo Foundation, and Tula Foundation.