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Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Legislation in the Northwest Territories

April 2018

Emissions reduction in the Northwest Territories

In January 2018, the Northwest Territories (NWT) released a draft Climate Change Strategic Framework [PDF] (the Framework) that sets an emissions-reduction goal of 20% by 2030. It also focuses on improving knowledge of the impact of climate change, improving the Territory’s resilience and adapting to a changing climate. Together with the Framework, the NWT is working on a draft 2030 Energy Strategy [PDF]. The Territory expects to develop and implement a five-year action plan in 2018. 

To date, carbon pricing has not been implemented in the NWT. In July 2017, the NWT released a discussion paper [PDF] presenting possible approaches to carbon pricing. The paper is meant to generate discussion on how best to introduce a carbon tax without raising the already-high cost of living in the NWT or adversely impacting economic development.  

NWT Biomass & Solar Energy Strategies

Released in 2010, the Northwest Territories Biomass Energy Strategy provides a guide for increased and sustainable local harvest of wood in the Territory. This strategy also recognizes that biomass is a central component of the NWT energy mix and seeks to promote the sustainable use of local and imported wood products for energy in the Territory. The Biomass Energy Strategy consists of 12 separate action items, including the offering of “Burn-it-Smart” workshops, promoting the use of wood pellet stoves, furnaces and boilers, and increasingly implementing biomass systems in facilities owned by the Government of the Northwest Territories. The Solar Energy Strategy similarly recognizes that solar energy can be an effective tool to limit and reduce GHG emissions in the Territory. Specific action items include developing policies to reduce institutional barriers to solar energy technology, assisting power utility companies to advance solar-diesel hybrid systems in communities, and promoting the use of battery-based solar charging systems in remote “off-grid” applications.