Canada is taking action to protect and conserve the environment, address climate change and conserve nature

Backgrounder

On World Environment Day, and every day, it is important to realize we are intimately connected to nature.

Our environment is rapidly changing. We all see the impacts of climate change—more frequent and intense droughts, floods, and extreme weather events affecting homes, infrastructure, and our health.

To conserve and protect nature, the Government of Canada is committed to being a global leader, and it has taken action to

  • Make conservation a priority by
    • Working to expand Canada’s national parks system, as well as manage and expand national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries.
    • In partnership with Indigenous groups, provinces and territories, Canada and Alberta are co-leading on the development of a pathway to conserve at least 17 percent of the country’s terrestrial areas and inland waters and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas by 2020. As part of this process, we are seeking guidance from Indigenous peoples, provinces, territories and a variety of stakeholders on how Indigenous conservation areas and other new innovative conservation models could be realized. We are also investing in a pilot Indigenous guardians program to support stewardship of our lands, waters, and resources, for future generations.
    • Exploring, with Indigenous and northern partners, how to support and protect the future of the Arctic Ocean’s “last ice area,” where summer ice remains each year.
    • Offering free admission in 2017 to Canada’s national parks, national marine conservation areas, national historic sites, and select national wildlife areas, to get more Canadians out into nature and to help create the environmental stewards of tomorrow.
       
  • Address climate change and promote clean growth by
    • Pricing carbon pollution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment, and stimulate investments in low-carbon innovation.
    • Accelerating the phase-out of coal-fired power to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as improve air quality and the health of Canadians.
    • Reducing methane emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve natural gas, and create healthier communities.
    • Creating a cleaner transportation sector through investments in electric-vehicle charging stations, a strategy for zero-emissions vehicles, and the development of a clean-fuels standard.
    • Reducing the reliance of northern communities on diesel, by deploying energy efficiency and renewable power as part of a new Arctic policy framework.
    • Making targeted investments in technology and innovation and supporting firms looking to take their innovative products and solutions to international markets.
    • Investing $21.9 billion in green infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver clean air and safe drinking water, and promote renewable power.
       
  • Further enhance air quality by
    • Investing $201 million over four years to take action to address air pollution, including implementation of the Air Quality Management System with provinces and territories, regulatory actions, and tools for Canadians to reduce exposure to air pollutants.
    • Reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon, methane, and ground-level ozone, to both improve air quality and help meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
       
  • Ensure we have clean water by
    • Protecting our coasts in a modern and advanced way that ensures environmental sustainability, safe and responsible commercial use, and collaboration with coastal and Indigenous communities through the Oceans Protection Plan.
    • Better protect our freshwater resources, including in the Great Lakes and Lake Winnipeg basins.
       
  • Take an international leadership role by
    • Committing $2.65 billion by 2020 to help developing countries, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, transition to low-carbon economies and adapt to climate change.
    • Playing an active role in negotiating the Paris climate agreement and the global agreement to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
    • Helping to launch Mission Innovation, a global initiative to double government investment in clean-energy research.
       

From improving air quality to conserving ecologically significant areas, to driving innovation in clean technologies for all sectors of the economy, we are taking action on a global scale.

For the Government of Canada, this means continuing our work with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, businesses, communities, and all Canadians to build a sustainable, clean‑growth economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help our communities adapt to the changing climate.

World Environment Day is an important reminder that—while we take time together to mark this day—the work we do to conserve and protect the environment is not limited to one day. It must be ongoing and ever expanding. Together, we must be vigilant in our efforts to ensure a healthier and cleaner environment for our children and grandchildren.


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