Members of the first cohort of the Yukon Youth Panel on Climate Change

Learning from others

Working on climate change takes a collaborative effort. We all have a responsibility to support climate action in the Yukon and in our communities. 

Yukon First Nations and municipalities are taking action in their communities to support climate action. Our Clean Future was developed after three years of engagement with: 

  • Yukon First Nations; 
  • transboundary Indigenous governments and groups; and
  • municipalities.

Read more

  • Read the Our Clean Future strategy to learn about actions being led by Yukon First Nations and municipalities that respond to climate change. 
  • Read Appendix B of the Our Clean Future 2022 annual report for a current update on partner-led actions. 
Five people look at the horizon on the goldensides hike in Tombstone Territorial Park

Yukon Climate Leadership Council

We established the Yukon Climate Leadership Council in November 2021. We selected 11 people with diverse backgrounds, knowledge and expertise to serve a one-year term. The council used the Our Clean Future strategy to guide its work. The council produced a report to support our efforts to reach the 45% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

We added many of the council's recommendations as actions to the Our Clean Future strategy. The new actions enhance the Yukon’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions towards the 45% reduction target. 

Youth Panels on Climate Change

Young Yukoners are an important voice in the discussion to address climate change. We’ve engaged youth through the youth panels on climate change. The 1st youth panel issued their recommendations in October 2021. Their recommendations and how they can help inform future climate actions were considered.

The 2nd youth panel cohort focused on how to further engage youth. They held four public workshops focused on empowering youth to engage with climate change. As part of their efforts, they produced:

  • a short film about their visions for the future; and
  • a virtual zine called Climate Explorations that explores each panel members’ engagement with climate change. 

Highlighting climate action from our partners

Actions led by First Nations governments and groups

First Nations are climate leaders in the Yukon, taking action to strengthen their climate resilience. First Nations governments and groups have contributed actions toward our collective objectives set out in Our Clean Future. Explore some of the actions that are currently being led by First Nations governments and groups.

Assembly of First Nations - Yukon Region and Council of Yukon First Nations

Develop a Yukon First Nations Climate Vision and Action Plan:

  • Complete: It has been three years since the 2020 Yukon First Nations’ Climate Action Gathering, where Yukon First Nations Leadership signed a Climate Change Emergency Declaration and called for a Youth-led Yukon First Nations Climate Vision and Action Plan. This led to the creation and launch of the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship. Thirteen youth took part in the fellowship that began in January 2021, reconnecting with their culture and identity as they developed this Vision and Action Plan – the Reconnection Vision. During the Together Today for Our Children Tomorrow 50th Anniversary celebrations, the youth officially graduated from the Fellowship, and presented the Reconnection Vision to First Nations Leadership and the public at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Center. This graduation marked a celebration of the next generation of Yukon First Nations climate leaders and united Yukon First Nations in a shared vision for the future. It was a beautiful ceremony with family and loved ones. Following the celebrations, First Nations leadership officially endorsed the Reconnection Vision as the First Nations’ approach to climate action in the Yukon.

Council of Yukon First Nations

  • Create an Energy and Sustainability Analyst position by 2020 to help build the Council of Yukon First Nations' capacity to assist Yukon First Nations in the pursuit of projects, programs and policies that support renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as provide guidance and visioning on the creation of a Yukon First Nations Climate Strategy and help strengthen Yukon First Nations energy literacy and capacity overall
    • Complete: The Energy and Sustainability Analyst position has been in place since September 2020.

Gwich'in Tribal Council

  • Continue looking for partnerships to build innovative technical solutions to decrease the diesel dependency in the Gwich’in Settlement Area.
    • Ongoing: The Gwich’in Tribal Council is working with other First Nations and governments to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, including support to green energy projects such as the Inuvik Wind Project.
  • Continue to run the Climate Future Exchange program to connect northern youth to their counterparts from other regions and enable them to create community-based projects that use Indigenous knowledge to reduce carbon footprint in the Gwich’in Settlement Area.
    • In progress: The Gwich’in Tribal Council collaborated and co-designed the program with the Youth Climate Lab, which was recognized as a Clean50 project in 2021.
  • Partner with the University of Saskatchewan to improve and develop more comprehensive energy audits in the Gwich’in communities.
    • In progress: The Gwich’in Tribal Council is working with the University of Saskatchewan to train students in energy security through the Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security Partnership. 
  • With support from Gender Equality Canada, work with women artisans in Beaufort Delta communities to address the systemic gaps that are hindering their business’s opportunities.
    • Not started
  • Work with partner organizations to convert the Gwich’in Camp from full reliance on diesel power to hybridized renewable energy sources.
    • In progress: A solar system will be installed in summer 2021 that will supply half of the electrical needs at the Camp and a proposal has been submitted to increase it to all of the Camp’s electrical needs. Funding has also been secured for two biomass furnaces that will supply half of the Camp’s heating needs. 
  • Monitor climate change impacts and capacity building in Gwich’in Communities.
    • Not started
  • Track environmental change in the Gwich’in Settlement Area by enhancing community-driven monitoring of lakes and rivers.
    • In progress: The Gwich'in Tribal Council and Wilfred Laurier University are working with communities on community-based water quality monitoring in each region.
  • Work with Polar Knowledge Canada to create and mobilize knowledge of sustainable energy, food sovereignty and revitalization and promotion of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge.
    • Not started

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

  • Develop a Climate Change Strategy for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region
  • Implementation of Climate Change Strategy for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region
    • In progress: The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) is working to implement the goals and actions outlined in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) Climate Change Strategy. Two of the ongoing projects (ISR Climate Watch and Climate Change and Clean Energy Terminology) advance IRC’s Education and Awareness theme in the strategy. These initiatives expand community-based environmental monitoring programs to include all ISR communities and support the continued development of climate change terminology that promotes language revitalization in all three ISR dialects, respectively. 
  • Develop an Energy Action Plan for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region
    • Complete: The Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) Energy Action Plan was launched in October 2022. The plan provides a scheme of each ISR community’s energy landscape and proposes actions to confront challenges related to energy availability and cost by providing practical solutions to attain a more sustainable, inclusive and healthy future to benefit residents. The plan is available at Inuvialuit Settlement Region Energy Action Plan.pdf.
  • Implementation of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region Energy Action Plan
    • In progress: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) is working to implement the goals and actions related to five thematic areas outlined in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) Energy Action Plan. For example, IRC’s current Powered by Youth project and Youth-focused public survey are actions related to the “Capacity & Engagement” and “Education and Energy Literacy” themes of the plan. The “Energy Coordination in the ISR” project is another ongoing action to achieve the goal of “Education & Energy Literacy” themes.  

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in

  • Reduce diesel use for heating Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in buildings by designing and installing alternative heating sources.
    • In progress: Participated in a Council of Yukon First Nations supported community energy audit, with the City of Dawson. The report is now being reviewed to determine next steps.  Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in also continues to investigate renewable community energy systems, with the City of Dawson. Solar panels have been installed at the new Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Jëje Zho men’s shelter. The facility relies primarily on renewable energy.
  • Carry out detailed planning for energy and engineering for retrofits for Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in buildings, including the preparation of construction drawings.
    • In progress: Building assessments and retrofits continue for all Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in properties (including homes) and locations.
  • Identify possible Electric Vehicles use to replace some of the current fleet.
    • In progress: Project requires further research to determine the type, performance and suitability of vehicles for our climate. 
  • Start a program to change oil furnaces to high efficiency electric in homes.
    • In progress
  • Begin roof replacements and insulation/ventilation upgrades on homes.
    • In progress
  • Replacement of pre-1982 single family dwelling with new duplex build – electric heat.
    • In progress
  • Ninä’nkäk hozo wëk’ä’tr’ë’no’hcha: Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Land Stewardship Framework for Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas. 
    • In progress: Funding has been obtained 
  • Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Energy Strategy
    • In progress: Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in is developing an Energy Strategy for their Traditional Territory, as part of its climate change action plan.
       

Vuntut Gwichin Government

  • Explore opportunities to replace diesel heat in Old Crow with fast-growing, locally harvested willow, distributed through a district heat system.
    • In progress: The Vuntut Gwitchin government has begun work on a forest resources harvest management plan to explore opportunities for sustainable willow harvest, and to support local fuel wood harvest.
  • Build a solar farm in Old Crow that will meet 24% of Old Crow's electricity demand and enable the diesel generators to be turned off for 2,200 hours each year.
    • Complete: The Old Crow Solar Project began producing electricity in the spring of 2021 at reduced capacity until the microgrid controller and battery energy storage system are installed. The project has been fully commissioned since August 2021.
  • Set up a wind measurement tower in summer 2020 to investigate the potential for a wind energy project to meet Old Crow's electricity demand in the winter months.
    • Complete: The wind measurement tower was installed in late fall 2020. Data collection at the Crow Mountain site is ongoing.
  • Develop a Community Energy and Implementation Plan for Old Crow that will identify activities to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and achieve the 2019 Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation General Assembly resolution to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
    • In progress: This project is currently at the data gathering stage, which will include a community energy survey conducted during the summer of 2021. 
       

White River First Nation

  • Build a 1.5 megawatt (MW) solar farm in Beaver Creek that will displace up to 60% of the diesel used for electricity generation in the community.
    • In progress: Detailed design and pre-construction work is ongoing. Funding applications are being advanced to support construction and commissioning.
Actions led by municipalities

Addressing climate change is a collaborative effort that impacts all areas of our society and all corners of the territory. Municipalities have created and undertaken actions that are innovative and tailored to their needs. Explore some of the actions that are currently being led by municipalities. 

City of Dawson

Explore and implement a comprehensive composting program to encourage and/or incentivize increased diversion of food waste.

  • Develop a policy for municipal operations and events, including with respect to resource use, waste, and energy efficiency.
    • In progress: Five major City of Dawson facilities have been set up on the Energy Star Portfolio Manager. 
  • Set improved service standards with respect to waste pickup, plowing, and bleeders.
    • In progress: A new, efficient garbage truck has been purchased and options for waste levels of service are being explored.
  • Explore and implement a comprehensive composting program to encourage and incentivize increased diversion of food waste.
    • In progress: Compost transfer stations are active and curbside compost collection has been identified as a priority. 
  • Investigate energy mapping of the Dawson area in a possible collaboration with Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin.
    • In progress: Residential and Commercial energy use surveys have been issued to the public
  • Create a reserve fund for projects related to climate change, energy, and green economy, and fund it from the municipal carbon tax rebate.
    • In progress
  • Upgrade insulation in the City of Dawson Public Works shop.
    • In progress: Design work underway.
  • Implement a modern Building Management System for the Dawson City Hall and Fire Hall to increase the efficiency of all heating, ventilation and air conditioning components.
    • Not started
  • Investigate replacing the bylaw vehicle with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
    • Not started
  • Construct a solid waste diversion centre
    • In progress

Village of Haines Junction

  • Increase the amount of fire smarting that occurs in Haines Junction and educate residents on the importance of fire smarting.
    • In progress: 2.5 hectares were fire smarted in the fall of 2021, and 2.5 more hectares will be fire smarted in 2022. 

Village of Mayo

  • Purchase an electric or hybrid vehicle and install an electric vehicle charging station in Mayo
    • In progress: Following the installation of a charging station in Mayo in 2021, the Village of Mayo is actively researching electric vehicles and charging stations that meet their needs. They aim to gather information on installation and operational costs, maintenance requirements, and the performance of hybrid vehicles in extreme climates.
  • Retrofit the Village of Mayo Community Centre to be more energy efficient based on an energy assessment completed for the facility.
    • In progress: To improve the energy efficiency of their Community Centre, in 2022, the Village of Mayo replaced lighting with LED lights and installed weather stripping to better seal doors during the winter. Upgrades to the buildings systems for better energy efficiency are planned for May-August 2023.
  • Continue to heat the Village of Mayo swimming pool using solar energy.
    • In progress: To reduce emissions and spending on fossil fuels, the Village of Mayo is using solar energy for a portion of heating their outdoor pool water. 
  • Drill two geothermal wells in order to heat drinking water. Currently the system relies on a propane boiler. This conversion will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs. 
    • In progress: Drilling of two new warm water wells is underway as of May 2023. Both warm water wells are scheduled to be tied into a new heat exchanger at the Water Treatment Plant this fall/winter and will be used to pre-heat drinking water before it is sent through the water system, as well as used to heat the water treatment plant. This will significantly reduce the Village of Mayo’s consumption of propane at the plant.

Town of Faro

  • Installation of three Level two Electric Vehicle chargers:
    • In progress: An electrician has begun the installation of chargers. One is being installed at the Town Office and two are being installed at the Community Services Building.
  • Pilot of enzymatic sewage lagoon treatment to reduce cost and emissions of diesel-powered lagoon cleaning equipment:
    • In progress: Treatment was applied in 2022 and is working well. The application will last for three years with estimated cost savings of approximately $250,000.