GNWT to send delegation to give voice to Northern perspective at United Nations Climate Change Conference

News Releases

Yellowknife — October 29, 2021

The Northwest Territories is bringing a strong message to the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Our message

As a territory, we are responsible for less than 0.2% of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas emissions.

And yet in the north, we are experiencing the effects of climate change three times faster than southern Canada.

It already affects our lives in very real ways.

Ice roads, which transport food and goods to our communities, are melting faster. Changing ice conditions, coastal erosion, and rising sea levels are having significant impacts on Indigenous culture and heritage sites.

Leadership and experts are coming together for this important climate change conference, and the NWT needs to be part of the conversation.

Canada’s Arctic cannot fight this battle alone. We need climate action across the globe to secure a healthy and safe future for NWT residents and communities.

We must also ensure that we have the means to transition to a lower carbon future. 

Significant investments and supports are needed to reach any climate goals. Investments in climate action are investments in the future of the Arctic, our communities, our businesses and the people living here.

Through partnerships, we can green our economy, lower our GHG emissions, and adapt our communities and critical infrastructure for the future.

Background on the conference

A small delegation will attend COP26 beginning on October 31, 2021.

COP26, which stands for Conference of the Parties, will be attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994.

The 2021 conference will be the 26th meeting.

As part of the Canadian delegation, NWT representatives will bring a Northern perspective on climate change and will work to ensure NWT priorities are clearly outlined and specifically considered as part of Canada’s decisions and commitments made at COP26.

Strengthening the government’s leadership and authority on climate change is a priority of the GNWT.

The GNWT aims to advance these priorities by actively participating at COP26.


“Northerners in the NWT and other territories are bearing the brunt of climate change in our country. Despite being responsible for less than 0.2percent of Canada’s GHG emissions, the NWT is facing some of the most significant climate impacts nationally. Our most northern communities have recorded warming rates four times higher than the global average. The impacts of climate change, including melting permafrost and sea ice, will continue to have significant effects on the NWT economy, infrastructure, environment and biodiversity, as well as affecting food security, traditional ways of life and culture.”

-Shane Thompson, Minister Environment and Natural Resources

Quick Facts

  • The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • The delegation representing the NWT will include;
    • Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Shane Thompson;
    • MLA Katrina Nokleby;
    • Shawn McCann, Deputy Secretary of Indigenous and Intergovernmental Affairs, for the Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs;
    • Cory Doll, Manager, Climate Change and Air Quality, for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
  • The objectives established by international organizers of COP26 include:
    • Secure global net zero by midcentury and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
    • Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.
    • Mobilize finance. To realize our first two goals, developed countries must deliver on their promise to raise at least $100bn in climate finance per year.
    • Work together to finalize the Paris rulebook (the rules needed to implement the Paris agreement).


Media inquiries

Cabinet Communications
Government of the Northwest Territories