Forestry, agriculture, and waste

Innovative solutions for reducing emissions

Taking action

The Government of Canada will work with the provinces and territories to:

  • Protect and enhance forests, wetlands and agricultural lands, which act as carbon sinks.
  • Encourage greater use of wood products in construction.
  • Identify opportunities to produce renewable fuels and bioproducts.
  • Advance forestry and agricultural management practices that help reduce emissions.

Canada’s rich soils and expansive forests have provided the nourishment and materials to help our communities thrive for generations. It is essential that we maintain these resources, and use them sustainably.

In addition, our communities and cities produce a lot of waste, and we must also manage this waste in a sustainable manner.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the forestry and agriculture industries and from municipal waste together account for about 13% of Canada’s total.

Our country must continue to improve how it manages waste. Landfills produce methane which can be captured and used as fuel. Some agricultural waste can also be repurposed as fuel. These and other measures present an opportunity to create new jobs and reduce emissions.

Agricultural soils and forests absorb and store carbon. These “carbon sinks” actually remove carbon from the atmosphere. Enhancing carbon sinks is essential to help reach our climate goals, in particular over the longer term.

The Pan-Canadian Framework will drive emissions reductions in these sectors and enhance carbon storage in several ways.

Working with provinces and territories and landowners, the Government of Canada will support efforts to enhance carbon stored in our forests, wetlands, and agricultural soils. One way is to restore forests that have been affected by natural disturbances, like insect infestations or forest fires.

The Government of Canada will support the increased use of wood in the construction of our buildings. Wood construction provides long-term carbon storage while also creating modern, beautiful, and sustainable buildings. This will support Canada’s vibrant forest industry, which over time has not only developed more efficient and sustainable forest practices, but has created new and innovative products.

We will also work with provinces and territories to enhance carbon storage in agricultural lands and reduce emissions from this sector. To accomplish this, we will encourage sustainable land management practices like “zero till” farming.

The Government of Canada will also promote the use of forestry, agricultural, and landfill biomass to create sustainable energy sources, such as renewable natural gas or advanced biofuels, or to create other bioproducts (such as bioplastics and biocomposites) that can also generate new economic opportunities for Canadians. Biofuels already help power vehicles on our roads today.

It is this type of innovation – reusing products and creating previously unimagined industries – that will help Canada thrive during the clean growth century.

Finally, governments will work together to support innovation in forestry and agriculture. Forests and agricultural lands can be managed in ways that help reduce emissions and enhance the potential to store carbon. Developing and adopting promising new clean technologies can similarly help cut emissions in these sectors.

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