Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault speaks to media at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. Guilbeault says Canada will allocate at least 20 per cent of its $5.3 billion climate finance commitment to nature-based solutions in developing countries over the next five years to tackle global warming. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada earmarks 20 per cent of climate funding to address biodiversity loss

GLASGOW, United Kingdom — Canada’s Environment Minister says the federal government will allocate at least 20 per cent of its $5.3 billion international climate finance commitment to nature-based solutions in developing countries over the next five years in a bid to limit biodiversity loss.

Steven Guilbeault made the promise during a Saturday speech at the United Nations COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

He says a co-ordinated approach to tackling climate change and biodiversity loss is needed because the issues are intrinsically linked.

He says helping developing countries adopt “nature-based solutions,” such as restoring wetlands and and preserving carbon-rich natural areas, will help accomplish both goals.

The 14-day COP26 talks bring together leaders from more than 120 countries to finalize how they’ll meet the goals set in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Conference participants are grappling with setting the rules for implementing a number of goals, chiefly reducing greenhouse gas emissions enough to hold global warming to as close to 1.5 degrees C as possible by the end of the century.

“We need to work together to conserve and protect the large intact biodiversity and carbon-rich areas of the world – the Boreal, Amazon, Congo Basin, and SouthEast Asia peatlands,” read a copy of Guilbeault’s address to the conference. “If we do not protect them, biodiversity will not be protected, nor will our climate.”