Climate Change

Greenhouse Gas Tracking

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is committed to tracking and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions through its annual greenhouse gas inventories.

Greenhouse gas inventories identify our major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and inform mitigation programming decisions. They also help in measuring the effectiveness of our greenhouse gas mitigation programs over the years.

Two types of inventories are completed in the Northwest Territories (NWT):

GNWT Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The GNWT reports on its corporate greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions from GNWT buildings, vehicles, snow machines and aircraft. It submits a greenhouse gas emissions inventory to the Climate Registry annually.

The GNWT Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report provides details on GNWT emissions reductions since 2011. Tracking its emissions will allow the GNWT to assess its progress towards achieving its greenhouse gas reduction targets.

NWT Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Environment and Climate Change Canada collects and reports greenhouse gas emissions for all provinces and territories in Canada.

The NWT accounts for a very small portion (generally less than 0.2 percent) of Canada’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions. Due to this small total carbon footprint, the yearly variation in emissions levels are very sensitive to a number of factors, rising and falling depending on the use of off-road diesel for large construction projects or the utilization of aviation fuel for mining exploration or fighting wildfires. Changes in these activities can noticeably alter the total greenhouse gas emissions of the NWT.

Despite the NWT’s low total greenhouse gas emissions, per capita emissions for the NWT are well above the national average. Higher per capita emissions are due to long distances between communities, an energy-intensive resource industry and long, cold winters.