Ontario Nature Blog

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Protecting biodiversity in Ontario’s cap and trade system

Photo credit: Brent Eades

Photo: Brent Eades

Please click here or on the button below to sign on an alternative form on our website.


[emailpetition id=”5″]


Climate change presents a serious threat to biodiversity – across the planet and right here at home.

Scientists are telling us:

This month, the Government of Ontario has launched public consultations on how carbon offsets may be made available to carbon polluters who are unable to achieve their required greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution reductions. The government’s proposals include the potential for more intensive management interventions to increase carbon sequestration, which could significantly impact Ontario’s biodiversity.

Our forests, wetlands, lakes are important components of carbon cycling. But now these natural carbon stocks are threatened by human-caused climate change. In many cases, an increase in the number and intensity of forest fires, droughts and rising temperatures are expected to release more carbon into the atmosphere. 

The stakes are high. Ontario’s ecosystems may be put up for auction and commodified in a new way – namely their ability to absorb and store carbon may be traded to allow more carbon pollution elsewhere.

Will the Province ensure species and their habitats are protected? Or will carbon offsets become a way for industrial users to exploit even more natural resources under the guise of protecting the environment?

Ontario’s cap and trade system must do the following:

  • Protect biodiversity in a time when human-caused climate change is harming many species. Fires, invasive species and storms are going to increase pressure on many vulnerable species, changing important habitat features and disrupting their life cycles. Don’t push them out. Protecting habitat needs to be a key component of any cap and trade system.
  • Avoid jeopardizing natural landscapes through uncertain climate change mitigation strategies. We need to maintain representative ecosystems unmodified by industrial-scale human activities in order to provide a baseline to monitor how climate change is impacting our ecosystems.
  • Achieve real, additional and permanent increases in carbon storage that exceed what would be achieved through ‘business as usual’ scenarios. Carbon polluters cannot simply purchase ‘credits’ for activities that are already being undertaken in another sector.
  • Ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of affected Indigenous communities before any carbon offset program goes ahead. Indigenous rights to carbon sequestered within traditional territories need to be recognized in the face of emerging climate change policies and laws.

Please join us in calling for a cap and trade system that safeguards Ontario’s wild species and spaces by the December 30, 2016 deadline. Be sure to reference Environmental Registry #012-9078.


ontarionaturewebsiteboanpic_webJulee Boan is Ontario Nature’s boreal program manager



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  1. Laura

    Not sure if it’s my browser (firefox), but having trouble seeing the letters in the blank fields.

  2. Fraser Gibson

    I am unable to sign on to the petition as the form will not accept any input of name, postal code etc. Using updated Safari.

  3. dave

    petition won’t allow me to input my name, etc.
    – we need more renewable energy like wind and solar, instead of fossil fuels and nuclear, to reduce climate change – so why does Ontario Nature and associated groups fight against wind turbines ? We need more electricity, especially with electric cars developing, so it has to be generated somehow

  4. Ontario Nature


    We apologize for any difficulties people may be experiencing while trying to input comments.
    Towards problem solving, at the moment we recommend Chrome as an Internet browser, as it tends to have the least difficulty processing web pages. We have noticed that iPhone 6’s Safari also works with this form.

    Many thanks and kind regards

    ON Noah

  5. Donald

    Ontario Nature should also give the name of the ministry in the Ontario governement and who to send an email to, if a member of Ontario Nature also wants to send a separate email to the government regarding protecting biodiversity in the cap and trade.

  6. Karen Nystrom

    Is anyone dealing with Ontario Nature emails, FB, Twitter etc?? Cant sign petition, same for many of us, but no follow up!

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