Shane Thompson: Climate Change Progress Update

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — February 11, 2020

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories knows that climate change is an important issue to Northwest Territories residents and all Canadians.

That’s why strengthening the government’s leadership and authority on climate change and ensuring climate change impacts are considered when making government decisions are two of the 22 priorities identified by the 19th Legislative Assembly.

Climate change affects our environment, our economy and the traditional way of life.

Our communities continue to face impacts to their winter roads, shorelines and harvesting practices.

A long-term and coordinated response in collaboration with all of our partners is needed to address climate change in the Northwest Territories.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is proud to lead this work. 

The 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework sets out our government’s long-term plan for addressing climate change. This includes actions in response to the 2017 report of the Auditor General of Canada.

The Framework was developed with input from Indigenous governments and organizations, Northwest Territories residents and stakeholders and is a government-wide response to climate change.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report this work is well underway.

Last April, Environment and Natural Resources released the first five-year Climate Change Action Plan under the Framework.

95% of the actions led by the Government of the Northwest Territories are either on track or complete.

As well, in the last year, the Government of the Northwest Territories has:

  • Released a Sustainable Livelihoods Action Plan to support access to country foods and being on the land;
  • Funded a number of projects focused on climate change research, monitoring and adaptation;
  • Worked with our Indigenous partners to establish two new Territorial Protected Areas; and
  • Delivered a course to bring climate change into community decision-making.

This is in addition to the Government of the Northwest Territories’ work to implement the NWT 2030 Energy Strategy.

Mr. Speaker, these are important accomplishments the Government of the Northwest Territories and our partners should be proud of.

Still, we know there is more to be done.

That’s why, over the next year, we will continue to work with our partners on the Climate Change Action Plan.

We look forward to releasing our first annual progress report, alongside annual reporting on the 2030 Energy Strategy.

Our government will continue to show leadership on climate change throughout the 19th Legislative Assembly, including the establishment of an NWT Climate Change Council with our Indigenous partners to help guide government actions.

Mr. Speaker, relationships are key to advancing this agenda. This means honouring our partnerships with Indigenous governments and organizations and sharing what we know about climate change across Northern and Southern jurisdictions.

It also means continuing to advocate for federal funding to address climate change and build strong, resilient communities.

Environment and Natural Resources remains committed to its leadership role on climate change.

We will report on our progress and work together with Northerners to ensure our unique way of life can continue in a changing climate.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.