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Innovating for climate change

Our new Director of Climate Innovation, Joseph Pallant, shares about the current carbon challenge facing Canada and the innovative forest carbon solutions he’s working on to help take climate action.

Managing our forests is key

Canada is falling well behind when it comes to meeting our climate target of a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 – a target reduction of 220 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year (tCO2e/yr). Even rosy projections show us at only reaching a 19% reduction. This January’s release of the National Carbon Inventory marks the first time Canada has included forest carbon in its official reporting. Even so, managed forests will only generate net emissions reductions of 29 million tCO2e/year in 2030. Surely we can manage our vast forests to take a bigger bite out of climate change than that?

All this highlights a powerful imperative for us at Ecotrust Canada to help build community-led climate action through the sustainable management, restoration, and conservation of Canada’s forests.

Our 3-pronged approach

  • Community action is at the core of our work with First Nations, rural and resource-dependent communities. Our initial priority on this front will be continuing Ecotrust Canada’s long-standing work in the North East Superior region of Ontario to support First Nations communities in enabling community-led climate action, with an emphasis on forest carbon management on their traditional territories.
  • Our infrastructure and policy work strives to unlock the climate action created by Canada’s 2017 inclusion of forest carbon in the National Carbon Account. For the first time ever, increases or decreases in carbon stored in Canada’s managed forests will be reported as part of our national “footprint” to the United Nations and the Paris Agreement. This appropriately puts forest carbon emissions on par with fossil fuel emissions as both a problem, and a solution. Our vision at Ecotrust Canada is to connect on-the-ground emissions reductions that arise from improved management of forests to the Canada’s National Carbon Account, creating a “dashboard” that allows government policy makers to clearly register landscape carbon impacts. This will give governments an entirely new, cost effective, path for investment into sustainable, community-led, forest carbon management startegies across Canada.
  • Blockchain for climate, as Ecotrust Canada has developed a partnership program with the Blockchain for Climate Foundation to put Canada’s National Carbon Account on the blockchain. This will be the initial national deployment of the Foundation’s work to “put the Paris Agreement on the blockchain,” connecting the national carbon of the world to enable cross border collaboration on emissions reductions.

In building continuity across community action projects, transparently connecting those projects to Canada’s National Carbon Account, and linking Canadian projects to the carbon markets of the world through blockchain technology, we’re proud to be innovating a new way forward for Ecotrust Canada to impact one of the greatest challenges of our time.