North West Territories
Current majority government:
Premier: Caroline Cochrane
All Members of Legislative Assembly are Independents (3)
Environmental stance of majority party:
“Through implementation of the 2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework, the GNWT [Government of the Northwest Territories] will address the concerns and interest of NWT residents by providing the GNWT with a long-term comprehensive and coordinated response to climate change, outlined in three goals:
1) Transition to a strong, healthy economy that uses less fossil fuel, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
2) Increasing understanding of climate change impacts occurring in the NWT.
3) Building resilience and adapting to a changing climate.” (4)
Percentage of 2020/2021 budget estimated to be allocated to the environment:
Main Estimates: operational and maintenance spending, released during the Winter session
Total 2023-2024 Estimated Budget: $2,206,153,000
Total 2022-2023 Estimated Spending: $2,253,847,000
Department of Environment and Climate Change:
Estimated Budget for 2023-2024: $124,309,000 (5.6% of the budget)
Estimated 2022-2023 Spending: $133,270,000 (5.9% of the budget)
$8,961,000 projected funding decrease from 2022-2023 to 2023-2024
Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs:
Estimated Budget for 2023-2024: $21,994,000 (0.99% of the budget)
Estimated 2022-2023 Spending: $22,375,000 (0.99% of the budget)
$381,000 projected funding decrease from 2022-2023 to 2023-2024 (5)
Capital Estimates: infrastructure investments, tabled during the fall session
Total 2023-2024 Estimated Budget: $292,422,000
Total 2022-2023 Estimated Spending: $544,934,000
Environment and Natural Resources Assets:
Estimated Budget for 2023-2024: $2,072,000 (0.71% of the budget)
Estimated 2022-2023 Spending: $5,242,000 (0.91% of the budget)
$3,130,000 projected funding decrease from 2022-2023 to 2023-2024 (6)
Main provincial-level legislation for environment protection:
Environmental Protection Act (7)
Broad act regulating pollution and environmental contaminants.
Environmental Rights Act (8)
Defines the environmental values of the NWT and states that “every adult resident in the Northwest Territories has the right to protect the environment and the public trust.”
Protected Areas Act (9)
Establishes distinct protected areas to preserve biodiversity across the Northwest Territories
Specific government-based environmental programs:
2030 NWT Climate Change Strategic Framework (10)
Lays out the Northwest Territories’ goals and plans in terms of climate action.
Renewable and Alternative Energy (11)
Directory of resources about alternative energy sources in the NWT and government programs in regard to them. These alternative energy sources include: -Hydro Power -Solar Power -Wind Power -Biomass -Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Science and Monitoring (12)
Home of the the government’s climate science program tracking the effects of climate change on the territory.
2030 Energy Strategy (13)
A plan for the government to achieve more secure, sustainable and affordable energy usage across the territory
2022-2025 Energy Action Plan (14)
Currently in development, sets out guidelines, projects, and goals in pursuit to satisfy the 2030 Energy Strategy objectives
Water Stewardship Strategy Action Plan for 2021-2025 (15)
“A partnership-based approach to improve and promote water stewardship in the NWT”
Next election date:
On or before October 2nd, 2023. (18)
Thawing permafrost causing damage to public infrastructure like roads and buildings (22).
Beaufort sea water levels expected to rise up to one meter in 21st century, threatening coastal communities in NWT (23).
As well, according to Canada's Changing Climate Report (2019), the Territory is warming at a rate three times higher than the national average (24).
Warming is causing tangible effects on many communities, including increased permafrost thaw, erosion, longer seasons without ice, and a greater risk of forest fires (25).
These environmental changes “are also impacting the health and well-being of residents, Indigenous culture and lifestyle, the territory's infrastructure and some economic activities.” (26)
An estimated revenue of $47,022 to come in from the carbon tax of 2022-2023, and $62,723 to come from the carbon tax of 2023-2024 (27)