Government of Yukon

April 13, 2015

Premiers bring Northern perspective to Quebec climate change summit

QUEBEC—The premiers of Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are bringing the interests of Northerners to the Quebec Summit on Climate Change on April 14.

Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, N.W.T. Premier Bob McLeod and Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna jointly acknowledged the significant investments all three territories have made in emissions reduction, cleaner energy production, technology and innovation; they noted that the North faces special circumstances that include growing regional economies, rural and remote communities and sparse populations. They also pointed out that Canada’s northern territories have a minor impact on overall greenhouse gas emissions but climate change has had a significant effect on Northern communities.

Approaches in the North to achieve Canada’s climate change goals must be conducted in ways that do not significantly impact northern costs of living, undermine food security or threaten emerging economies, the premiers agreed.

“Canada’s North faces many challenges including vast distances, small populations and a very high cost of living,” McLeod said. “Given our changing climate and the need for both long-term and short-term action, the territories are focusing on both adaptation and mitigation.”

Because they are experiencing climate change in a profound way, the three northern territories are working together to develop strategies to adapt to changes in the North. In 2011 the northern premiers adopted the Pan-Territorial Adaptation Strategy and continue to collaborate through that partnership. Balancing mitigation with adaptation is essential.

“All three territories are making investments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in cleaner energy production, technology and innovation,” Taptuna said. “We also need to ensure that economic opportunities are created for our residents, which means supporting balanced, sustainable development.”

Pasloski added: “We can make positive changes in green energy while still supporting new and growing northern economies. Achieving our climate change goals must be done in a way that does not significantly increase the already very high northern cost of living.”

The northern premiers are pleased to participate in the Quebec summit and will continue to be active partners in discussions around climate change mitigation and adaptation, while respecting the need for each jurisdiction to pursue the path that best meets its unique circumstances.



Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
Government of Yukon

Roya Grinsted
Communications Officer
Government of the N.W.T.

Yasmina Pepa
Office of Premier Taptuna
Government of Nunavut

News Release #15-123