Please note that this news release has been updated to indicate there are 11 panel members instead of 13 and to reflect additional meetings.
Premier Sandy Silver, Minister John Streicker and Minister Nils Clarke met with the Youth Panel on Climate Change earlier today to receive their recommendations on climate action in the Yukon. Officials from BYTE - Empowering Youth Society, the Climate Change Secretariat and the Yukon First Nations Climate Fellows also attended the meeting.
The Panel’s recommendations focus on the Our Clean Future strategy and include topics related to youth education; land-use planning; biodiversity; resource development that respects Indigenous sovereignty; emissions reduction through public transit and active transportation; and bringing together western science and Indigenous knowledge.
The Panel consists of a diverse group of 11 young climate leaders who were selected in December 2020 to serve a one-year term that ended on October 15, 2021. The members of the Youth Panel met 17 times virtually, and three in person gatherings and 10 co-chair meeting, to develop the recommendations with support from BYTE.
The creation of the panel fulfils a commitment in the territory's Our Clean Future strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy. The Government of Yukon is now considering the recommendations and how they can help inform future climate actions.
A call for applications to form the next Youth Panel on Climate Change will be announced later this year.
Climate change is a top priority for this government and it is important that Yukon youth have an opportunity to have their prespective heard on the decisions we make today, which will affect them the most. Thank you to the youth panel for their hard work, passion and dedication in developing these meaningful recommendations. We will continue listening to young people on how we can better address the climate emergency we face.
Premier Sandy Silver
The topic of climate change is very important to my people and me. I think it is essential for First Nations people to have a say on what's going on in our Traditional Territories. Most, if not all of the things scientists have been discovering about the land and climate change, my people have known for generations.
Youth Panel member Azreil Allen, 20, Haines Junction, Champagne and Aishihik First Nation member
I am extremely proud of the recommendations our panel is putting forward. They reflect what we've heard from youth across the territory and show that we're ready for bold, meaningful action.
Youth Panel co-chair Bruce Porter, 15, Whitehorse
I am so inspired by the work, learning and outreach that the panellists have done over the last nine months ‒ they truly are a dedicated, passionate and powerful group of youth. They have brought their unique perspectives and experiences together with what they heard in their community engagement to create a bold set of recommendations on climate action for the Yukon government. We are so excited for the panellists to have their recommendations heard and to see what happens next!
BYTE Youth Panel coordinator Emily Ross
Our Clean Future: A Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy outlines how the territory will take action to address the impacts of climate change while building a green economy and ensuring Yukoners have access to reliable, affordable and renewable energy.