Planting two billion trees and using the power of nature to fight climate change

Planting two billion trees and using the power of nature to fight climate change

Canadians care deeply about nature. Canada’s forests, grasslands and wetlands help clean our air, safeguard our water, provide important wildlife habitat, and are vital to our economy and quality of life as Canadians.

Working with nature to fight climate change

Trees can help pull carbon pollution out of the air, storing carbon in their roots, trunks, and branches. Studies at the global level show that natural climate solutions, like planting trees, restoring wetlands, protecting grasslands, and creating incentives for farmers to plant cover crops, can also help get us closer to reaching our Paris Agreement targets. Investments in natural climate solutions can create jobs and improve the sustainability of forest and agriculture sectors, while also safeguarding water sources, providing habitat conservation, and increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change.

A re-elected Liberal government will:

  • Launch an ambitious program to plant two billion trees over ten years, as part of a $3 billion plan to use the power of nature to help fight climate change
  • Create about 3,500 seasonal jobs, per year, in tree planting activities. We will work with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, municipalities, businesses and others, on a cost-share model to maintain and grow the amount of tree cover across Canada.
  • We will help communities create urban and regional forest plans and undertake studies and pilot projects, because we know how important urban trees are to enhancing quality of life and for climate mitigation and adaptation. We will also support research and provide funding so municipalities have access to domestic sources of climate-resilient and genetically diverse trees that will increase the resilience of Canada’s urban forests.
  • We will set aside funds to support non-profits, governments, and private landowners in undertaking preventative measures to get ahead of emerging infestations, like the emerald ash borer and the spruce budworm, that threaten urban trees and Canada’s forests. And we will support reforestation efforts in the wake of climate-related disasters, such as major wildfires.
  • The tree planting initiative will be part of a broader $3 billion fund for natural climate solutions that will support efforts across the country to better manage, conserve, and restore forests, grasslands, agricultural lands, wetlands, and coastal areas. These landscapes all help store and take carbon pollution out of the air – whether that is grasses taking carbon into their roots and the surrounding soil or healthy wetlands keeping centuries of carbon in the ground. By conserving and restoring these areas, we can help ecosystems naturally buffer and reduce climate change. These natural solutions will help the environment and support sustainability in our forest and agricultural sectors.
  • We will work with experts to design this initiative to reduce emissions by an estimated 30 Mt by 2030.

Costing

  • These measures will cost $3 billion over 10 years. This will be an annual investment of $300 million, starting in 2020-21. These costs will be offset by forthcoming revenues from the Trans Mountain pipeline, which we have previously said would support broader environmental goals. Further details related to costing will be released over the course of the campaign.