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NWT Reports on Climate Action and Energy for 2022-2023

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by ahnationtalk on February 20, 202441 Views


February 20, 2024

The North is experiencing climate warming faster than anywhere in Canada, and residents, businesses and governments across the Northwest Territories (NWT) are answering this call to action. Today, the Departments of Environment and Climate Change (ECC) and Infrastructure (INF) are releasing annual reports on climate action, energy that outline progress made in the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Covering the period of April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, these reports correspond to the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) initiatives that guide climate action and the NWT’s energy future:

  • 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework: 2019-2023 Action Plan (ECC)
  • 2030 Energy Strategy (INF)

The GNWT and its partners invested approximately $45 million dollars to carry out year four of the 2019-2023 Climate Change Action Plan, including $27 million in investments to advance the objectives of the Energy Strategy. Other highlights of 2022-2023 reporting are as follows:

  • All 132 action items listed in the Climate Change Action Plan are either ongoing or completed.
  • The 2022-2025 Energy Action Plan was released during this reporting period and includes 68 actions and initiatives aligned with the Energy Strategy’s strategic objectives, projecting up to $194 million in investment to fulfill the three-year plan.
  • Modelling work on low-carbon pathways for the NWT found that the NWT is on track to achieve its 2030 target of a 30% emissions reduction below 2005 levels, and that more reduction efforts and substantial investments will be needed should the NWT adopt more stringent emissions reduction targets.
  • Actions and initiatives advanced under the Energy Strategy will reduce the territory’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50.2 kilotonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) by 2028, equivalent to $27.2 million in annual fuel savings that year.
  • Major climate adaptation projects are being completed, including the development of firebreaks and fire fuel reduction strategies in 29 NWT communities.
  • In 2023, the NWT Climate Change Youth Council was formed. Members bring critical perspectives on climate change from all NWT regions to amplify the voices of the territory’s youth, influencing policy and action by decision-makers.
  • A partnership with the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk and Natural Resources Canada was created to research coastal erosion dynamics along the Beaufort Sea to support a community-led monitoring program.
  • An information report on the state of NWT forests in the wake of climate change was completed. In partnership with the Canadian Forest Service and based on the data in this report, the GNWT will monitor changes to forest growth, productivity, health and regeneration after natural and human-caused disturbances in the context of a changing climate.
  • The Arctic Energy Alliance continued to deliver its energy efficiency programs and services in all NWT communities in 2022-2023, giving out a total of 2,656 incentives worth $1.3 million in combined value, and 1,400 megawatt hours in energy savings — the equivalent of taking two communities the size of Wekweètì off power grid.
  • The GNWT’s Greenhouse Gas Grant Program, which provides funding to support businesses, industry, communities, and government to develop projects that reduce their operating costs and GHG emissions in the NWT, had 10 projects approved under its two funding streams in 2022-2023.

Moving Forward

In 2024-2025, the GNWT is renewing its Climate Change Action Plan and continuing the five-year review of the 2030 Energy Strategy.

The development of the 2025-2029 Climate Change Action Plan is being informed by:

  • an independent evaluation of the 2030 Climate Change Strategic Framework and 2019-2023 Action Plan to assess the progress made towards the Framework’s vision, goals and actions;
  • upcoming public engagement and targeted engagement with Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations on a draft Action Plan;
  • the soon to be released NWT Climate Change Risk and Opportunity Assessment; and
  • engagement with the NWT Climate Change Council and NWT Climate Change Youth Council.

The Energy Strategy review is ongoing. Review activities that have already been completed include:

  • public and stakeholder engagement through the GNWT’s ‘Have your Say’ portal;
  • a study looking at technical and economic considerations for various low-carbon pathways to 2050;
  • a public submission period for Indigenous governments, Indigenous organizations, partners, stakeholders and the public;
  • engagement between the GNWT and Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations using the NWT Climate Change Council, in-person meetings and correspondence; and
  • engagement between the GNWT and energy utilities, as well representatives from energy and climate stakeholders and industry.

In addition to the actions above, ECC and INF co-hosted a workshop on the NWT’s approach to energy and climate issues and emissions in July 2023. A ‘What We Heard’ report summarizing feedback will be released in March 2024

The input from Indigenous governments, Indigenous organizations, the public, stakeholders and our partners received will be critical in informing the development of the Climate Change Action Plan and the review of the Energy Strategy. To deliver on a shared vision of a healthy and resilient NWT, the GNWT remains committed to creating, building and maintaining relationships with Indigenous and community governments, co-management boards, academia, non-government organizations and the Government of Canada.

Quote(s)

“Addressing climate change isn’t going to happen overnight, and we can’t do it alone. With dedicated action and partnership with Indigenous governments, Indigenous organizations, the non-profit sector, academia, industry, and many others, we are making real progress. Our government will continue to invest in climate action supporting northern solutions for more climate-resilient communities.”

– Jay Macdonald, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The NWT is at a critical juncture in responding to climate change and evolving our energy systems. The path forward hinges on partnership across governments and with industry to ensure our actions are aligned and effective. By working together and providing support for residents and businesses to make positive changes, we can successfully shift to a low-carbon future.”

– Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Infrastructure

Quick facts

  • ECC and INF work with other GNWT departments, agencies and Crown Corporations as well as external partners to advance energy- and climate change-related initiatives across the territory.
  • NWT carbon tax revenues are used to help offset increased costs for residents and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Department of Finance will release the 2022-2023 Carbon Tax report in March 2024.
  • The average air temperature in the Northwest Territories has risen by about 2 degrees since the 1940s, more than twice the worldwide average increase.
  • Since 1957, Inuvik’s average air temperature (our northernmost region), has warmed by 4.4°C (annual average air temperature) while Hay River’s average air temperature (in the southern part of the territory) has warmed by 2.7°C.
  • Data from 2021, the most recent year for which data is available, shows that the NWT has reduced its GHG emissions by 25% since 2005.
  • Based on work completed in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, the Inuvik Wind Project began producing clean electricity in November 2023. It is expected to deliver 30% of Inuvik’s annual electricity requirements, reduce annual GHG emissions by six kilotonnes of CO2e, and offset diesel consumption by up to three million litres per year.
  • In 2022-2023, the GNWT and its partners invested approximately $45 million in climate initiatives, including $27 million to advance the objectives of the 2030 Energy Strategy.
  • In 2022-2023, the GNWT also spent $21 million dollars in programs and policies to help stabilize the cost of energy and support low-income households.
  • In 2023, the GNWT announced $3.8 million in funding – $1.9 million provided by the GNWT and another $1.9 million from the Government of Canada for NWT electric utilities to install electric vehicles fast chargers in Yellowknife, Behchokǫ, Fort Providence, Enterprise, Hay River, Buffalo Junction and Fort Smith.
  • Almost entirely funded by the GNWT and operating through six regional offices, the Arctic Energy Alliance is a non-profit society dedicated to helping reduce the costs and environmental impacts of energy in the NWT by providing programs and services to residents, communities, non-profits, and businesses.

Related links

For media requests, please contact:

Environment and Climate Change Communications
Government of the Northwest Territories
ECC_Communications@gov.nt.ca

Infrastructure Communications
Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories
INF_Communications@gov.nt.ca

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