Today, the Government of Yukon released the second annual report on the progress made to implement Our Clean Future: A Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy.
The 2021 annual report details the government’s progress on Our Clean Future goals and targets, including the 136 commitments outlined in the strategy. In 2021, key actions under Our Clean Future supported the removal of plastic bags from circulation in the territory, engagement with youth on climate issues through the Yukon Youth Panel on Climate Change, a decline in emissions between 2019 and 2020 and the doubling of the amount of zero-emissions vehicles on the road.
The Government of Yukon also completed its first territory-wide climate risk and resilience assessment, a key commitment under Our Clean Future. The report, Assessing Climate Change Risk and Resilience in the Yukon, outlines the impacts of climate change that pose the highest risk to Yukoners. It identifies seven priorities where more action is needed to build resilience:
- Transportation infrastructure;
- Floods and fires;
- Permafrost thaw;
- Ecosystems and biodiversity;
- Changing conditions on the land;
- Health and wellbeing; and
- Economy and livelihoods.
The report identifies where government and community actions are contributing to resilience, and where further action is needed.
The report will be a key resource for the government to assess, adjust and accelerate climate actions under Our Clean Future and to ensure the Yukon is resilient to climate change impacts.
Climate change is one of our biggest challenges and we all have a role to play in addressing the climate emergency we face. Together, with local and federal partners, we have made progress towards the targets set in Our Clean Future to address climate change and mitigate its impacts. While we have made progress, we know there is more work to do to meet our goals, including additional action to meet our 45 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030. Our work completing a climate risk and resilience assessment will further support our government to ensure the Yukon is resilient to climate impacts. After another challenging fire and flood season, I look forward to working with all Yukoners to address these priority areas, reduce our emissions and continue to build communities that are resilient to climate change.
Minister of Environment Nils Clarke
As we continue to see more severe weather events happening here in the territory, and around the world, we must work together to continue to take climate action. Our Clean Future is our strategy to reduce emissions and create communities that are more resilient. The Yukon’s green economy continues to grow from investments in local renewable energy, green infrastructure projects and the adoption of clean technologies like zero-emission vehicles and heat pumps. These annual reports help us assess our progress and identify improvements and opportunities to keep us on track to achieving our ambitious climate action targets.
Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources John Streicker
I am encouraged by the progress made in addressing climate change in the Yukon and I look forward to the continued work that will help our territory meet its climate goals outlined in Our Clean Future. By applying a climate change lens to the Economic Development Fund, we are supporting projects that contribute to environmental sustainability and climate resiliency. Additionally, our investments in innovative technologies and renewable energy projects will provide new job opportunities for Yukoners. The Yukon also has an opportunity to play a significant role in the national response to climate change as a sustainably mined domestic source for critical minerals that are key to Canada’s transition to a greener economy. There is still more work to be done and I am confident that we are on the right path to achieving our goals.
Minister of Economic Development Ranj Pillai
Of the 19 Our Clean Future actions that were due in 2021, the Government of Yukon completed 13, made progress on three, and updated and enhanced three.
The Government of Yukon also added five new actions to Our Clean Future and updated and enhanced 13 other actions, including the three 2021 actions. These changes were made to better reflect research and accelerate efforts to reach the government’s 2030 goals. These are reflected in the annual report.
As of 2021, the rolling average of electricity generated from renewable resources on the Yukon’s main grid is 95.7 per cent. This number will continue to increase through the actions of Our Clean Future toward 97 per cent renewable by 2030.
Greenhouse gases emissions, not including mining emissions, decreased 12 per cent from 2019 to 2020. Emissions for 2020 were 3 per cent above 2010 levels.
Communications, Energy, Mines and Resources
Communications, Economic Development