Climate Change in the NWT

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What is COP

The United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) is an annual global climate change summit. Leaders from around the world, who are parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, gather to assess progress in dealing with climate change and negotiate protocols and agreements.

Why it matters to the NWT

The Arctic has been identified by the IPCC as a “hotspot of high human vulnerability” to climate change, and COP provides an opportunity for the NWT to give a platform to northern voices. COP is a high-profile opportunity to advocate for Northern climate change issues to national and international audiences, and to influence the development of the plans and policies accompanying federal programming, particularly those being developed under the National Adaptation Strategy. COP also provides a unique opportunity for the GNWT to directly engage with Canada’s negotiators to advocate for climate change interests that impact our territory.


The 2022 conference, COP27, will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6-18. COP27 will focus on adaptation, climate resilience in developing nations, and build on carbon reduction commitments and discussions from COP26. Adaptation and resilience are the focus for the NWT, and while Canada is a developed country, NWT residents and northern communities face many of the same challenges as those faced in developing nations.

What is the GNWT doing

The GNWT was among the first jurisdictions in Canada to include climate change consideration in government decisions. The GNWT delegation for COP27 will include NWT Indigenous and youth representation.

Why is it important the GNWT attend, in addition to Canada?

The NWT is experiencing some of the most rapid warming on the planet with warming occurring at up to four times the global rate. This gives the delegates from the NWT a unique perspective, with challenges and opportunities that may be different than the rest of Canada. Additionally, this is an opportunity to give a platform to northern and Indigenous voices on the global scale and ensure decisions and discussions at COP include our unique history, culture, traditions and experiences.