December 6, 2022, TIO’TIA:KE [MONTREAL] – Climate and development groups welcome Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement today of CAD $350 million in new international finance for biodiversity. Coming at the opening of COP15, the global biodiversity conference in Montreal, the announcement sends a strong and necessary signal on the need for strengthened international cooperation and funding to protect and restore nature.
This represents new and additional funding to previous efforts from Canada, in particular its existing 2021 climate finance commitment of $5.3 billion over 5 years. Climate Action Network Canada has called for Canada to increase international finance by an additional $1 billion/year until 2025.
Each investment made will help close the biodiversity finance gap. Canada’s colonial legacy makes this contribution an important step to support international efforts to make peace with and end the decimation of nature.
Eddy Pérez, International Climate Diplomacy Director, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada:
“Investing in the protection, conservation and restoration of wetlands, forests, oceans, and wildlife is investing in life. As a wealthy country – and one that still exploits and consumes far more than its fair share of resources – it’s Canada’s responsibility to support biodiversity efforts around the world. The new funding for international solidarity for biodiversity is an encouraging sign, and it must not stop here. Canada must now convince other wealthy countries to step up and commit to increasing international public support for biodiversity by the end of this COP.”
Sandra Schwartz, National Executive Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS):
“To land an ambitious global biodiversity framework in Montreal, international biodiversity finance needs to increase dramatically, particularly from wealthy nations of the world like Canada. Today’s announcement by Canada is an important step in that direction.”
André-Yanne Parent, Executive director, The Climate Reality Project Canada
“We are at a decisive time to save life on earth. If it is a global crisis, losses continue to affect disproportionality those who have the least contributed to it – the poorest countries, Indigenous peoples, women and non-binary people, and youth. New, additional, adequate, and accessible funding is critical to address these multiple injustices. Today, Canada is making a significant step in the right direction with this pledge and it should act as a catalyst for more international solidarity for biodiversity from wealthy countries at this COP.”
Reykia Fick, Nature and Food Campaigner at Greenpeace Canada
“It is good that Canada has committed new funds to tackle the global biodiversity crisis. This announcement at the launch of the Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal increases the pressure for other developed countries to step forward and put new, not previously allocated money on the table.
“However, in the face of the US$100 billion annual deficit in global biodiversity funding identified by the Africa Group and like-minded countries, and CA$600 million in annual funding recommended by the Green Budget Coalition, this commitment must only be a starting point towards Canada paying its fair share towards the ongoing, global effort to halt and reverse mass extinction.”
Tegan Hansen, Senior Forests Campaigner, Stand.earth:
“As Prime Minister Trudeau said in his opening remarks today, nature “is under attack.” But it’s Canada’s extractivism both on Indigenous lands in Canada and around the world that’s complicit in the biodiversity crisis. If Canada continues to destroy old growth forests and subsidize burning whole trees for dirty energy, all while criminalizing Indigenous people defending their lands, then these steps will not take us forward in a meaningful way. Trudeau must match his words to Canada’s actions at home and abroad, especially by curtailing industrial extraction, and ensuring Canada’s delegation to COP15 supports explicit recognition in the Global Biodiversity Framework for Indigenous territories and rights, as well as primary forests around the world as defined by the Primary Forest Alliance.”
Oscar Soria, Campaign Director, Avaaz:
“The pledge of Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau to bring 350 million dollars to finance international biodiversity action is a symptom of the poor ambition shown by world leaders at this COP15. This amount is wholly insufficient to address the needs to halt biodiversity loss and such amount is marginal compared to the USD 1 trillion needed every year. We call on Canada to step up its efforts to bring consistent and creative solutions to tackle the ecological crisis, such as phasing out harmful subsidies to our ecosystems or debt swaps for nature conservation, and as well to set out stricter policies to stop bankrolling extinction. Canada provides more public financing for fossil fuels than any other G20 country, averaging $14 billion annually, with negative implications to biodiversity. We hope Trudeau will step up with more commitments and action in the future, in order to close the biodiversity finance gap.”
Dr. Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers, Montreal family physician and member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE):
“For the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), the protection of biodiversity and the restoration of natural ecosystems are positive measures for human health. As such, we welcome today’s announcement by the Government of Canada of increased funding for biodiversity, which will contribute positively to the health of human, animal and plant populations.”
Gerardo Almaguer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Desjardins International Development (DID):
“Developing countries remain the most vulnerable to biodiversity loss and climate change. Building the resilience of their populations is therefore a priority for us, and we are extremely pleased with the commitment the Canadian government is making today in this regard.”
Julie Segal, Senior Manager Climate Finance, Environmental Defence Canada:
“Dedicating money towards biodiversity protection and restoration is an investment. Canada is right to kick off COP15 with this tangible $350-million commitment. But Canada must go further and ensure other wealthy countries put money on the table for nature, and ensure all private financial dollars have the same positive impact on global nature conservation.”
Andrea Koehle Jones, Founder & Children’s Biodiversity Education Advocate, The ChariTree Foundation:
“Children and youth are the future stewards of the planet and we urgently need to conserve, restore and safeguard the environment for them. The ChariTree Foundation welcomes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement today of $350 million in new international finance for biodiversity. Leaders at COP15 must act now to save nature. If we don’t, kids will have fewer and fewer opportunities to fall in love with nature and that would be a critical loss because you protect what you love.”
Tina Lines, Advocacy and Policy Officer, the Canadian Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases:
“At the Canadian Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, we welcome the Government of Canada’s investment in protecting biodiversity globally. The control, prevention and treatment of neglected tropical diseases depends on the adoption of a One Health approach – taking care of both people and planet for sustainable results. Clean water and sanitation and understanding the role that climate change and biodiversity loss play in shaping our interactions with vectors and intermediary hosts of these diseases is critical.”
Patrick Dubé, Executive Director, Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS):
“The Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS) applauds Canada’s financial commitment to biodiversity. It reiterates that to protect life, we must radically transform our ways of doing things and not back down in the face of the complexity of our systems. Mobilized by the practice of social innovation to bring about real change, the MIS calls on the government to invest in concrete levers of action, such as financial and regulatory innovation, to better address the significant challenges of the 21st century.”
Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of 140 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.
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Vicky Coo, Communications Lead
Climate Action Network