Climate Change in the Northwest Territories—Government does not know whether the Territory is doing enough to adapt to climate change impacts
Climate Change in the Northwest TerritoriesGovernment does not know whether the Territory is doing enough to adapt to climate change impacts
Yellowknife, 18 October 2017—A report from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada tabled today in the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly concludes that Department of Environment and Natural Resources did not provide the leadership that the Territory requires to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change impacts.
Climate change affects the land, wildlife, and critical infrastructure. It also affects people—their food and fuel security, their ability to travel in and out of their communities, and their traditional way of life. The territorial government needs to have a full picture of the climate change risks it faces in all these areas to ensure that actions to adapt to a changing climate are taken when and where they need to be.
The audit found that in the absence of effective departmental leadership, other territorial departments and communities pursued their own adaptation efforts. The result is a piecemeal approach to adaptation, and the government does not know whether the territory is doing enough to adapt to climate change impacts or if the areas of greatest risk are being addressed.
“The Department of Environment and Natural Resources needs to exercise its leadership role and set clear and specific adaptation priorities to address climate change risks facing the Northwest Territories”, said Mr. Glenn Wheeler, principal director on the audit.
The audit also found that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Infrastructure did not follow through on many of the specific actions they determined were necessary to safeguard people, infrastructure and wildlife from the impacts of climate change.
“Residents depend on these departments to uphold their commitments to manage and adapt to the impacts of climate change – some of which have the potential to be severe and costly”, added Mr. Wheeler.
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The report “Climate Change in the Northwest Territories” is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada website.
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