Canada has committed to spending over $1 billion to help developing countries protect their coastlines, forests, and other natural ecosystems in an effort to combat climate change.
The funds will make up roughly a fifth of Canada's total $5.3 billion commitment to climate finance as part of international climate negotiations, Environment minister Steven Guilbeault Saturday announced in an event at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Dozens of recent studies have highlighted the rapid decline in biodiversity, with millions of species - from bugs to birds - at risk of extinction in coming decades. Climate change, deforestation, and pollution are among the key drivers of biodiversity loss worldwide, Environment and Climate Change Canada said in a statement.
"Canada's new commitment to nature-based solutions in the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries makes it explicit: The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss must be tackled together," Guilbeault said. "A nature-positive, net-zero future is the key to fight against climate change."
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada will give $15 million to global funds to help countries protect coral reefs adapt and become more resilient to rapidly changing oceanic conditions. Previous spending on similar programs such as the Pacific Initiative for Biodiversity Climate Change, and Biodiversity has already helped developing countries build climate resilience into their infrastructure and economies.
Guilbeault also announced Canada's membership to a global coalition of countries aiming to protect 30 per cent of the world's lands and oceans by 2030, and noted the country is pushing nations to develop a rigorous international deal to stem biodiversity loss.
In additon to its international commitments, the federal government is spending $4 billion on Canadian initiatives to bolster natural climate solutions aimed at fostering Indigenous-led stewardship initiatives, ECCC said.