Government of Yukon



FOR RELEASE
May 14, 2014

Government invests in climate change adaptation research

WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon, in partnership with the Government of Canada, is significantly expanding its role in climate change research with the announcement of six new projects that deal with adaptation and climate change.

“The Yukon government recognizes that the effects of climate change pose challenges to our unique quality of life,” Minister of Environment Currie Dixon said. “These new partnerships will support the development of innovative solutions that enhance our resilience to change.”

Natural Resources Canada (through its Adaptation Platform) and the Public Health Agency of Canada are providing about $510,000 per year for two years towards the adaptation projects. The Yukon government is contributing almost $150,000 through funds and in-kind support. The projects include:
 
    • developing an internet-based web portal on behalf of the Arctic Council to enable adaptation by providing access to relevant tools and knowledge;
 
    • assessing how different climate change scenarios will affect future energy demand in Yukon; and
 
    • anticipating the public health risks associated with a changing climate in Yukon along with potential responses.

“Adaptation means coping with the negative impacts of climate change and as well as embracing the opportunities that may arise,” Dixon said. “These projects will help us adjust our decisions, activities and thinking to enhance our economic competitiveness and the well-being of our communities.”

The new projects complement the Yukon government’s existing adaptation work. The Climate Change Secretariat co-ordinates nine projects funded by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Highways and Public Works is working in partnership with the federal Department of Transportation to evaluate the effects of climate change and permafrost degradation on transportation in Yukon.

Learn more:

Natural Resources Canada’s Adaptation Platform: www.nrcan.gc.ca/environment/impacts-adaptation/adaptation-platform/10027

Public Health Agency of Canada’s Preventative Public Health Systems and Adaptation to Climate Change Program: www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/eph-esp/pph-psp-eng.php

Yukon government’s Climate Change Action Plan progress report: www.env.gov.yk.ca/air-water-waste/ccactionplan.php

 
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See backgrounder below.

Contact:

Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
867-633-7961
elaine.schiman@gov.yk.ca

Nancy Campbell
Communications, Environment
867-456-6794
nancy.campbell@gov.yk.ca

Backgrounder
The Yukon government is collaborating with several federal government departments and other partners on six projects worth about $1.3 million:

1. Arctic Adaptation Web Portal (Arctic Council)
Total project value: $412,000. Partners: Yukon government (Climate Change Secretariat), Natural Resources Canada (Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division (CCIAD)), University of Alaska (Fairbanks), U.S. State Department. This web-based information portal will improve access to information about adaptation research and actions in the circumpolar north.

2. Compilation of Energy Sector Case Studies
Total project value: $161,000. Partners: Natural Resources Canada (CCIAD), Yukon government (Energy Solutions Centre), Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources. This project will look at case studies where actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the energy sector have merged to determine how such actions can be repeated elsewhere. The co-benefits of such an approach include a reduction in the overall cost of responding to climate change that ensures the energy sector is both climate-friendly and climate-ready.

3. Assessment Of Temperature Trends And Impact On Energy Demand
Total project value: $18,000. Partners: Natural Resources Canada (CCIAD), Yukon government (Energy Solutions Centre), Yukon Energy Corporation. This project will evaluate the impacts of climate change on how Yukon manages energy by evaluating future electrical demand and supply and subsequent implications for energy resource planning. This work will identify potential risks and opportunities for the Yukon energy sector and inform energy resource planning going forward.

4. Permafrost And Risk Assessment – Ross River
Total project value: $402,000. Lead: Yukon College (Northern Climate ExChange). Partners: Risk Sciences International, International Institute for Sustainable Development. Funders: Natural Resources Canada (CCIAD), Yukon government (Highways and Public Works), Yukon Geological Survey. This project will develop guidelines and best practices for building management in Ross River that are transferrable to other northern jurisdictions.

5. Mine Access Roads in Northern Canada
Total project value: $292,000. Lead: Yukon College (Northern Climate ExChange). Partners: Risk Sciences International, International Institute for Sustainable Development. Funders: Natural Resources Canada (CCIAD), Yukon government (through the Pan-Territorial Adaptation Partnership with the governments of N.W.T. and Nunavut), Transport Canada. This project will look at the economic implications of climate change adaptations for mine access roads. Industry is providing in-kind support.

6. Climate Change and Public Health
Total project value: $15,000. Partners: Yukon government (Climate Change Secretariat), Public Health Agency of Canada, Council of Yukon First Nations, Arctic Athabaskan Council, Yukon College (Northern Climate ExChange). This project is part of the national effort to advance the understanding of the health implications of climate change.

About the funding organizations:

The Natural Resources Canada Adaptation Platform brings together key groups from government, industry and professional organizations, to identify and collaborate on adaptation priorities. By providing the structure to pool knowledge, capacity and financial resources the platform aims to get adaptation work done, and to ensure the results of that work – such as information, tools and recommendations – reach the right audiences.

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s mission is to promote and protect the health of Canadians through leadership, partnership, innovation and action in public health. To address health-related impacts of climate change, the agency aims to expand research and engage public health stakeholders to support informed decision-making and practical adaptation strategies.

The Yukon government’s Climate Change Secretariat provides government-wide leadership and coordination on climate change projects. It ensures the actions in the Climate Change Action Plan are implemented.


News Release #14-127