MADRID — Scientists at the international climate summit in Madrid today spoke to the urgency of protecting nature systems as a tool for fighting climate change. The lead authors of the special report, Climate Change and Land, released earlier this year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the way in which we grow, process and distribute food, and manage forests, is causing close to a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. As countries from around the world meet to decide on the how the remaining elements of the Paris Agreement will be implemented, a message of urgent action spurred on by the findings from reports like this can be heard throughout the meetings.

The scientists gave a clear message that we must do all we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not only by shifting to 100 per cent clean energy, but also by protecting natural systems that absorb carbon pollution from the atmosphere. Protecting and restoring natural landscapes is a crucial way to absorb excess carbon dioxide and help meet climate goals.

“The message from the scientists today reinforces the pivotal moment already underway in Canada. Momentum is building for bold climate action – on the streets, in the courts and in city halls. This summit is an opportunity for the new federal government to respond to the strong desire of a growing majority of Canadians for climate action with strengthened laws and policies,” David Suzuki Foundation CEO Stephen Cornish said.

Land-use practices have implications for water supply, food security, desertification, drought, soil erosion and degradation and climate, according to the scientists.

“Climate breakdown from the buildup of heat-trapping carbon emissions — including drought, fire, floods and extreme weather — will mean severe risks to food security and human health around the world. We want our government in Canada to support stronger national targets and timelines to shrink carbon pollution.  Unless serious immediate action is taken, our government will deprive young Canadians of the future they deserve,” Cornish said.

Research by the David Suzuki Foundation shows that protecting natural assets such as forests, wetlands and peatlands helps reduce the risks of climate disruption by sequestering carbon, and offers benefits like water filtration, erosion control, flood reduction and more.

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Theresa Beer,, +1 778-874-3396 (also on WhatsApp)