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First Nations Climate Initiative, Government Sign Historic Global Green Shipping Corridors MOU

By December 7, 2023June 18th, 2024News

First Nations Climate Initiative and Metlakatla First Nation join the Canadian Government as signatories

The Respective Territories of the Haisla Nation, Nisga’a Nation, Metlakatla First Nation and Halfway River First Nation, December 6, 2023 – The First Nations Climate Initiative (FNCI) and the Metlakatla First Nation are pleased to announce their participation as signatories to the Global Memorandum of Understanding on Multi-Port Multi-Jurisdiction Green Shipping Corridors. The FNCI and the Metlakatla are the only Indigenous-led organization and First Nations government in Canada to make this commitment, respectively.

The international MOU was announced today at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Partners include shippers; ship builders; ports and terminal operators; clean fuel producers; clean tech companies; and international governments, including Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Transport Canada led the Canadian signatories.

The MOU seeks to accelerate the establishment of international green shipping corridors and broader decarbonization of the marine sector, critical to achieving climate action goals. The MOU also addresses the movement of clean energy commodities, which plays an important role in helping to realize a just energy transition for many First Nations, including those participating in the FNCI.

FNCI Sees Green Shipping Corridors as Key to a Just Transition

With the signing of this MOU, the FNCI is reaffirming its vision and policy framework for a just transition that simultaneously tackles decarbonization, decolonization and the restoration and recovery of ecosystems.

The FNCI’s Climate Action Plan lays out specific policy and investment proposals for achieving this vision and reinforcing the path to a low-carbon economy in British Columbia, including the following actions relevant to supporting the Green Shipping Corridors program:

·       Introduce new energy systems to decarbonize land and marine transportation – First Nations plan to become the decarbonized energy providers of the future and are pursuing opportunities, including supporting the Port of Prince Rupert to become a major hub for decarbonized fuels in the green shipping corridors.

  • Advance nature-based solutions – Protecting and restoring the land is critical to overcoming the complex challenges facing First Nations, other Indigenous Peoples and society at large. Expanding carbon markets to include high-quality carbon offsets will spur the investment needed.

·       Invest in renewable energy transmission and generation infrastructure – This infrastructure can power the low-carbon industries that will be the foundation of our decarbonized economies. Programs that support First Nations investment in new infrastructure will enable major equity participation and are needed for a just transition to net zero and a recovering climate.

·       Promote exported Canadian resources as the most sustainable in the world – Ensure that National and Provincial climate plans include the global GHG reductions that our lower-emissions resources can enable. Engage in bilateral discussions with Asian customers to develop agreements that accelerate emission reductions.

·       Aim for a recovering climate, and not just net-zero – Provide tax incentives and direct government investment in demonstration projects for carbon capture and storage technologies. Fast-tracking First Nations climate solutions projects will make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Canada and globally, while alleviating poverty in communities.

The signing of this green shipping corridors MOU, together with participants from across Canada and the globe, aligns with the FNCI’s Climate Action Plan; furthers FNCI’s mission to fight climate change, restore ecosystems, alleviate First Nations poverty and put reconciliation in action; and demonstrates how the goals of climate action are strengthened by international collaborative action.

Metlakatla First Nation Taking Meaningful Climate Action Steps

With a close connection to the land and water, the Metlakatla First Nation has seen first-hand the cumulative impacts of climate change on the natural resources that are essential elements of its culture and livelihood. Becoming an official signatory to the green shipping corridors MOU is another important step for the Metlakatla First Nation on its path to protecting and restoring ecosystems for current and future generations while generating prosperity for its members.

The Metlakatla’s traditional territory lies on the northwest coast of British Columbia and includes the lands and waters encompassing the Port of Prince Rupert, one of the busiest seaports in Canada. The harbour, waters and lands surrounding Prince Rupert have always provided the natural resources essential to Metlakatla culture and have also been foundational to Metlakatla prosperity and the regional economy.

Today, on its territory, The Metlakatla First Nation continues to lead by actively working to decarbonize its own operations, which include owning terminals, developing logistics parks and providing fuel to various transportation operations. The Nation is also working with its partners in the terminal, transportation and logistics sectors to advance net-zero plans, and developing partnerships to provide clean fuels to domestic and international markets.

As rights holders, local stewards of the land and waters, and citizens of the global economy, the Metlakatla First Nation recognizes the significant role it will play in mitigating climate change. Participating in this global green shipping corridors MOU is one way that the Nation is taking meaningful steps to transform its territory to become a leading hub for green, decarbonized transportation and goods movement.


Crystal Smith, elected Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation (FNCI founding leader)

“First Nations in Canada will be the energy providers of the decarbonized future, protecting and restoring our ecosystems while driving prosperity. That is why the leaders of the First Nations Climate Initiative are signing the Green Shipping Corridors MOU. Indigenous-led solutions are needed to reach Canada’s—and the world’s—climate action goals. We must all decarbonize our economies now in order to mitigate climate change and realize a future that benefits everyone. The time for talk and debate has passed; there is too much at risk. We need collaborative, global action today. That is what we are focused on, and that is what this MOU represents.”

Robert Nelson, elected Chief Councillor of the Metlakatla First Nation (FNCI founding Nation)

“As rights holders to our territory, as local stewards of our land and waters, and as citizens of the global economy, First Nations have a significant role to play in the race for decarbonization. We share a vision for a decarbonized terrestrial and marine transportation sector with Canada, DP World, the Prince Rupert Port Authority, other signatories and our collaborating First Nations who form part of the First Nations Climate Initiative. We recognize the opportunity for our territory to become a leading hub for green, decarbonized transportation. We also believe that First Nations need to be, and will be, at the forefront of the energy transition—leading decarbonization for the well-being of our future generations, not just at home, but globally. Given our central role in the Canadian transportation network, we are very pleased to sign the Green Shipping MOU, along with our many Canadian and international partners, to demonstrate our commitment to our shared future.”