Climate Change

Frequently Asked Questions - Climate Change Strategic Framework

Why has the 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework been developed?

Climate change represents serious environmental, economic and social challenges for the NWT.
The 2030 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 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework?

The 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework identifies three goals towards which the NWT must make significant progress by 2030. These goals include:

  • Goal #1 - Transition to a strong, healthy economy that uses less fossil fuel, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels, by 2030.
  • Goal #2 – Improve knowledge of the climate change impacts occurring in the NWT.
  • Goal #3 – Build resilience and adapt to a changing climate.

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

The 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework rests on three pillars: knowledge, resilience and adaptation, and emissions mitigation. The Department of Infrastructure’s 2030 Energy Strategy is the primary mechanism the government will be using to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Both strategies were built on the vision of having a strong, healthy economy and an affordable, secure energy system for the NWT that is less reliant on fossil fuels, by 2030.

What is the status of the 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework and draft 2019-2023 Action Plan?

The Framework was finalized following engagement with Indigenous governments, stakeholders and the public. It was released on May 1, 2018.

The draft 2019-2023 Action Plan has been developed to support implementation of the 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework, and has been released to Indigenous governments, stakeholders and the public for comment until November 30, 2018.

Comments will be carefully considered and taken into consideration during the development of the final 2019-2023 Action Plan, to be released in early 2019.

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

Until the recent development of the 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework and associated 2019-2023 draft Action Plan, ENR was the primary GNWT department focused on climate change planning.  From 2011/12 to 2018/19, ENR used approximately $4.5 million in internal and external funding, in particular from federal investment, to facilitate dozens of adaptation projects and initiatives.

The draft 2019-2023 Action Plan reflects actions and areas for future collaboration to be led by the GNWT departments and partners to move forward on adaptation priorities for the territory. 

What is the GNWT doing to mitigate climate change and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions?

The 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework along with the Department of Infrastructure’s aligned 2030 Energy Strategy, lays out goals and targets that will ultimately reduce the territory’s GHG emissions in line with Canada’s national targets.
The NWT target is consistent with the federal government target to reduce to 30% below 2005 levels, by 2030.

Implementation of the 2030 Energy Strategy will see the NWT reduce GHG emissions from electricity generation in diesel-powered communities by an average of 25% and transportation by 10% per capita, while increasing the share of renewable energy used for space heating by 40% and increasing residential, commercial, and government building energy efficiency by 15%.

Federal funding is a crucial requirement to ensure our GHG reduction goals are met, and the GNWT is actively pursuing such opportunities. A key support structure for the GNWT’s Energy Action Plan is the bilateral agreement between GNWT and Infrastructure Canada, which will provide $91.3 million in federal funding over three years for investments in energy infrastructure in the NWT. Furthermore, Environment and Climate Change Canada recently announced an investment of over $23 million from the Low Carbon Economy Fund for programs with the Department of Infrastructure and ENR that will support energy efficiency retrofits, renewable energy, and forest regeneration. 

How does carbon pricing fit into the GNWT’s approach to addressing 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 2019.

The GNWT engaged in public consultations on carbon pricing and has analyzed the results received to determine how carbon pricing should be implemented in the NWT.

The GNWT announced they will be introducing a NWT carbon tax on fuels effective July 1, 2019 based on $20/tonne of GHG emissions. This will increase annually by $10/tonne until 2022 when it will reach a maximum of $50/tonne.

Further information on the NWT carbon tax can be found here.