Robert C. McLeod: Climate Change Strategic Framework Action Plan

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — May 27, 2019

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories made a mandate commitment to develop a territorial climate change strategy that takes into account Northern energy demands and the cost of living, while reflecting international and national commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Last year on May 1, the Government of the Northwest Territories released the 2030 Northwest Territories Climate Change Strategic Framework.  This is our government’s coordinated, comprehensive response to mitigating and adapting to climate change, outlined in the following three goals:

  1. Transitioning to a strong, healthy economy that uses less fossil fuel, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030;
  2. Increasing understanding of climate change impacts occurring in the Northwest Territories; and
  3. Building resilience and adapting to a changing climate.

Last month, the Government of the Northwest Territories publicly released the first five-year Action Plan to put the vision of the Framework into motion.

The 2019-2023 Action Plan identifies work currently underway or resourced to take place within the next five years, as well as high priority areas that we need to secure partnerships to accomplish, and a tracking process for implementation.

The Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to reviewing the Action Plan and reporting on our progress annually. After five years, a review of the Action Plan will guide the development of an updated Action Plan for 2025-2029 to ensure we continue to meet the coming challenges and opportunities related to climate change.

Mr. Speaker, the Northwest Territories is on the front lines of climate change and has been experiencing impacts for decades.  We remain committed to addressing the threats that climate change poses to the sustainability of Northwest Territories communities and the health and safety of our residents.

We know we cannot do this alone.  The Action Plan was informed by input from partners, including Indigenous governments and organizations, community governments, the Government of Canada, co-management boards, non-government organizations, industry and academia.

All partners, including the Government of the Northwest Territories, need to make significant commitments to implement the Action Plan.  The Government of the Northwest Territories commitment and investment to addressing climate change is demonstrated by the actions it is leading or partnering to achieve.

As the Northwest Territories is a small jurisdiction with limited resources, support from Canada and other partners will be essential for Action Plan implementation.  We continue to work with the Government of Canada to find funding that supports our long-term vision and approach to energy and climate change that will enable the Northwest Territories to transition to a strong, healthy economy that is less dependent on fossil fuels.

As the lead department responsible for climate change, Environment and Natural Resources will provide strong leadership on related coordination within the Northwest Territories and with other jurisdictions.

Mr. Speaker, through implementing the 2019-2023 Action Plan, I believe the Northwest Territories will be able to respond to the challenges and opportunities associated with climate change by improving knowledge of climate change impacts, increasing adaptation and resiliency, moving towards a lower-carbon economy, and doing our part to contribute to national and international efforts on climate change.

We look forward to working with our partners to achieve the actions set out in the 2019-2023 Action Plan.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.