MILTON, Canada: The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) sent delegates to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, this November. The delegates were pleased to hear high-level discussions behind held about the sequestration side of the Carbon Cycle and an enlightened understanding of what plants can do in helping us adapt to climate change.
“It was encouraging to see the inclusion of plants in the discussions around finding solutions to our changing climate. The first-time pledge from Canada of $USD 8.1M to the UN’s annual Adaptation Fund, which has now reached $USD 356M, is another indication of our government’s commitment to helping Canadians adapt to our changing reality. Plants play a crucial part in helping us adapt and we look forward to working with government and our international partners in horticulture to amplify our message, through future COP’s, so that the power of plants can truly be understood” said Anthony O’Neill, CNLA’s President.
Bill Hardy, CNLA Vice President, and Alan White, CNLA Treasurer and Climate Adaptation Committee Chair, joined Anthony at the event. Together they gained an understanding of how COP works and whom the participants were, making invaluable connections for future meetings. “Governments are beginning to recognise the importance of nature-based solutions, our solutions, and their critical importance in the carbon cycle. Going forward, we must be involved and be at that table. This was a critical first step,” explained Bill Hardy.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) promoted to countries before COP26 that the world must act immediately to collectively reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent in the next eight years in order for countries to avoid a temperature rise beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius – as set in the Paris agreement. The world is currently on track to warm by 2.7C. In a joint statement O’Neill and Hardy conclude, “The products and services offered by the members of the CNLA provide solutions, cooling cities, and we will continue our commitment to assist in climate adaptation and promoting the benefits of living green infrastructure as we prepare for participation at COP27.”
The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) is a national not-for-profit federated industry trade association of nine provincial landscape and horticulture associations representing over 4,000 member companies in the landscape, retail garden centre, and growing sector. The association dates back to the 1922 formation of the Eastern Canada Nurserymen’s Association, with members mainly comprised from Ontario and Quebec. Formerly the Canadian Nursery Trades Association, the association was re-named in 1998 to better reflect the nature of its members.