Frequently Asked Questions - Climate Change Strategic Framework

Why has the draft NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework been developed?

  • Climate change represents serious environmental, economic and social challenges for the NWT.
  • The draft NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework outlines how the NWT can address these challenges from 2018 to 2030.

What are the main focus areas of the draft NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework?

  • The draft NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework identifies three goals towards which the NWT must make significant progress by 2030:
  1. Goal #1 - Transition to a strong, healthy economy that uses 20 per cent less fossil fuel compared to 2015.
  2. Goal #2 – Improve knowledge of the climate change impacts occurring in the NWT.
  3. Goal #3 – Build resilience and adapt to a changing climate.
  • Proposed priorities and actions for each goal are detailed in the draft Framework.

What is the status of the draft NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework?

  • The Department prepared an initial draft based on the public engagement input received during 2016/17 through regional meetings, an online survey and several written submissions.
  • A draft Framework has been released and is now available for public comment until January 19, 2018.
  • The Framework will be finalized based on comments received during the current round of engagement with Aboriginal governments, stakeholders and the public. It will then be tabled in the Legislative Assembly in the spring of 2018.
  • An accompanying Action Plan for the strategy will be developed throughout 2018.

How are the draft Climate Change Strategic Framework and NWT 2030 Energy Strategy aligned?

  • The draft NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework rests on three pillars: knowledge, resilience and adaptation, and emissions mitigation. The Department of Infrastructure’s draft NWT Energy Strategy is the primary mechanism the government will be using to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Both plans were built on the vision of having a strong, healthy economy and affordable, secure energy system for the NWT that is less reliant on fossil fuels by 2030.

What is the GNWT doing to adapt to the impacts of climate change?

  • One of the three key goals of the draft NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework focuses on building resilience and adapting to a changing climate in four key ways:
    • Maintaining ecosystem sustainability;
    • Managing impacts occurring in the environment;
    • Protecting human health, safety, culture and heritage;
    • Protecting buildings and infrastructure.
  • While a formal climate change adaptation plan has not been in place, the GNWT has made considerable strides to address climate change impacts. From 2011-12 to 2017-18, ENR used about $4.0 million in internal and external funding, in particular from federal investment, to facilitate dozens of adaptation projects and initiatives.
  • ENR recently staffed a new Community Adaptation Specialist position that will focus on helping communities identify and implement local resilience and adaptation projects.
  • New adaptation funding opportunities at the federal level are anticipated to emerge in 2017 and 2018 under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.  Once details are available, the NWT will actively pursue additional funding to develop new adaptation initiatives. Federal investment is required for us to meet adaptation and resilience challenges currently being experienced in the NWT.

What is the GNWT doing to mitigate climate change/lower GHG emissions?

  • The draft Climate Change Strategic Framework (along with the Department of Infrastructure’s aligned draft NWT Energy Strategy) lays out goals and targets that will ultimately reduce the territory’s GHG emissions in line with Canada’s own national targets.
  • The NWT target is consistent with the federal government target to reduce to 30% below 2005 levels, by 2030. The NWT is already below its 2005 level by approximately 10%, so our remaining reduction target is 20%.
  • Implementation of the draft NWT Energy Strategy will see us reduce GHG from electricity by 25% and road transportation by 10%, while increasing the use of renewables for heat by 40% of market share and increasing energy efficiency by 15%.
  • Our goal is that by 2030, the NWT will have a secure, affordable and sustainable energy system that is 20% less dependent on fossil fuels.
  • The NWT’s total annual GHG emissions have been fairly stable and met the target set in 2011. Since 2009, the NWT’s total annual emissions have ranged between 1,225 kt and 1,500 kt, depending on fluctuations in economic activity.
  • Significant reductions in GHG emissions cannot be realized in the NWT without substantial federal funding support to make transformative changes and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

How does carbon pricing fit into the GNWT strategy on climate change?

  • Under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, all jurisdictions in Canada are required to implement some form of carbon pricing by 2018.
  • The GNWT has engaged in public consultations on carbon pricing and is analyzing the results received to determine how carbon pricing should be implemented in the NWT.