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Yukon asks NWT residents for climate change feedback


The Government of Yukon is seeking feedback from its next-door neighbours on the territory's new strategy for climate change, energy, and a green economy.

Last weekend, representatives from the Yukon government spent time in Inuvik holding a public engagement session at the Midnight Sun Complex.

“The reason we’re in Inuvik is because lots of people travel to the Yukon for hunting, fishing, and berry picking, and they are affected by climate change impacts on the land,” explained Aletta Leitch, a senior project manager with the Yukon's Climate Change Secretariat.

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Leitch said her government was particularly interested in hearing from transboundary Indigenous groups. It's the second time the Yukon government has crossed the border for climate change discussions, having done so last year prior to drafting the current strategy.

The strategy looks to address climate change, meet the Yukon’s energy needs, and build a green economy. Like the Northwest Territories, the Yukon is understood to be warming at three times the global rate. Leitch said the strategy is about making sure people are prepared.

The Yukon's strategy outlines four main goals the territory wants to accomplish by 2030. Those include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2010 levels, using renewable energy to meet 40 percent of heating needs, helping communities become “highly resilient” to climate change impacts, and building a green economy.

“So far, feedback on the draft strategy is positive,” said Leitch, noting the engagement team has only received minor changes so far.

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Meanwhile, the NWT’s 2030 Climate Change Strategic Framework was released this past May and focuses on three similar goals: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels, build resilience, and improve knowledge of climate change impacts in the NWT.

In the NWT, staff have admitted many of the actions outlined in the territory's plan are “aspirational” in nature without significant new federal funding.

People who missed the Yukon's engagement event in Inuvik on Saturday can still provide feedback via an online survey or by emailing ourcleanfuture@gov.yk.ca by January 17, 2020.

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