Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Shane Thompson and Great Slave MLA Katrina Nokleby issued the following joint statement on COP26 and climate action in the NWT:
“Our territory took a strong message to COP26 this year - that the NWT has been and will continue to face some of the most significant impacts of climate change.
“While the NWT continues to do our part to reach emission targets, the northern context is unique and requires special consideration surrounding the expectations and support by the federal government.
“As we leave COP, our message is this.
“Northerners need significant help to address climate change. We need a continued and enhanced commitment from the federal government to achieve our targets and build community resiliency to adapt to our northern climate change needs.
“COP is an excellent opportunity to learn from and network with regional leaders and multiple sectors. It was encouraging to listen and learn from many people speaking passionately about real action on climate change and to have the opportunity to share our work with folks from all over the world.
“We heard about the real impacts climate change is causing in other countries. Similar to what we have been experiencing, we heard accounts of large arctic wildfires; of dangerous heat and rain levels we’ve never seen; of centuries-old practices and customs of Indigenous peoples — and the land, water and wildlife they rely on — being threatened by rising temperatures.
“We gained many insights to bring home. The importance of regional co-operation was reinforced as we discussed shared challenges and learnings with Greenland and we even heard of the collaborative work among African nations. We learned about the many innovative ways nations, regions, states, provinces, and communities are adapting to the changes we have and will continue to face in the coming decades.
“Now, we will continue to take a leadership role on climate action in the NWT and put these lessons to work. We will seek continued opportunities to network and learn from the work and experience of others.
“We will continue to collaborate on and advocate for strong climate action in the Northwest Territories, ensuring that Indigenous governments, communities, non-profit organizations, industry and academics are part of solutions that work in our context. We will ensure existing and potential partners are aware of our needs for research, capacity building and investment related to climate action, and ensure that the voices of youth and elders are central to our work.
“In the legislature, we will continue to ensure that climate change is fundamental to our decision making in the Northwest Territories.”
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