Every year, the Government of Canada celebrates Canadian Environment Week, an important milestone to raise awareness and protect the environment. This year, Environment Week was celebrated virtually, as Canadians continue to practise physical distancing during the COVID‑19 pandemic.
This week, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, commemorated the 2020 edition of Canadian Environment Week by participating in various virtual events.
On June 2, Minister Wilkinson was joined by the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, the Right Honourable Kwasi Kwarteng, to welcome six new members to the international Powering Past Coal Alliance, including the Quebec-based Desjardins Group. This virtual announcement was attended by hundreds of investors and climate-policy experts from all over the world. Phasing out coal power is good for human health, the environment, and the economy, and Canada is proud to be taking a leadership role on the world stage.
On June 4, Minister Wilkinson joined young leaders from Leading Change Canada to discuss the importance of continued youth engagement in developing solutions and ideas to protect our nature and act on climate change. As the country works toward social recovery and better public health, young voices are needed more than ever to help the country build a stronger and more resilient economy.
June 5 is World Environment Day, and Montréal was selected as this year’s North America host city. For this occasion, Minister Wilkinson participated in a virtual event organized by Montréal’s Space for Life and by the United Nation’s Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. There, he announced more than 60 nature conservation projects under development, which are protecting biodiversity from coast to coast to coast and helping Canada achieve its target of protecting 25 percent of its lands and 25 percent of its oceans by 2025. Nearly half of these projects are Indigenous-led, with the purpose of working toward creating Indigenous protected and conserved areas. All projects are available to view on the new Canada Target 1 Challenge map.
Science plays a critical role in the protection of our environment. Throughout Canadian Environment Week, Environment and Climate Change Canada scientists connected with kids across the country through Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, an organization that teaches kids about science, conservation, and exploration through virtual field trips.
“This year’s Canadian Environment Week was a celebration of our nature and a reflection on the importance of safeguarding our environment. Even under the special circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, I witnessed the special relationship Canadians share with their natural environment. It is this relationship that makes Canadian Environment Week so important and helps ensure the health and well-being of Canadians today and for generations to come.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change