Old Crow solar project.
Government of Yukon / Bree Josie

Our Clean Future

We live in a world that’s rapidly changing. Climate change is threatening ecosystems, subsistence harvesting, infrastructure, leisure activities, and many other aspects of our lives.

Yukon’s population is growing, along with our need for reliable, affordable and renewable energy to continue to power our lives, our work and our economy. New economic opportunities are emerging in the sustainable, green economy.

Our Clean Future is our answer to the climate emergency.

The Government of Yukon developed Our Clean Future in partnership with Yukon First Nations, transboundary Indigenous groups and Yukon municipalities over the course of 3 years. During this time, the partner group gathered 4 times to establish a vision and values for Our Clean Future and to prioritize the areas we should focus on over the next 10 years to respond to the climate emergency. As a result of this collaborative process, the strategy reflects multiple perspectives, worldviews and ideas.


Climate change is a threat to the Vuntut Gwitchin, to the lands, water and animals we rely on for sustenance and to practice our culture. Reducing our dependency on fossil fuels though innovative clean energy projects and a green economy that provides sustainable jobs for our youth are opportunities that build community resiliency, energy security and a better future for our children.

‒ Vuntut Gwitchin Government Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm 

To learn more, keep scrolling or download the full strategy.
Download Our Clean Future

2030 targets

Our 4 goals will help us achieve our vision for a clean future with healthy people, communities and ecosystems. We have set ambitious targets for these goals to keep us on track.
 

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Reduce Yukon’s greenhouse gas emissions

Reduce emissions by 30% by 2030

We’ll reduce Yukon’s total greenhouse emissions from transportation, heating, electricity generation, other commercial and industrial activities, waste and more. 

2022 mining target

We’ll also work with industry to set a target for greenhouse gas emissions from placer and quartz mining. This will see Yukon mines produce fewer emissions of greenhouse gases across their lifecycle for every kilogram or kilotonne of material produced.

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Ensure Yukoners have access to reliable, affordable and renewable energy

By 2030:  
  • 97% of the electricity on Yukon’s main electricity grid will come from renewable sources. 
  • We will use 30% less diesel for electricity generation in the communities that are not connected to the main electricity grid. 
  • 50% of our heating needs will come from renewable sources.

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Adapt to the impacts of climate change

Be highly resilient to the impacts of climate change by 2030 

We’re taking actions to adapt immediately to climate changes, we’re already experiencing and those in the future. 

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Build a green economy

Building a green economy will help Yukoners take care of the natural environment so it can support long-term jobs and economic activity, continued traditional and cultural activities; and strong mental and physical wellbeing. 

The City of Whitehorse is aware of the consequences of climate change and the strong political will required to deal with this global challenge. As a result, we declared a climate change emergency on September 23, 2019, and we continue to closely monitor the risks to our City’s residents and businesses. The City is committed to taking action on climate change by working to reduce corporate and community emissions, as well as adopting climate change adaptation initiatives.

‒ City of Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis 

What you can do

Our Clean Future also creates many opportunities for individuals, businesses and organizations to take part in reducing emissions, enhancing energy security, making Yukon more resilient, and building a green economy through financial support, information and advice.

Here are some actions you can take as an individual or business to help Yukon achieve our 2030 goals.

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Transportation

Make your next vehicle electric with the help of up to $5,000 from the Government of Yukon for eligible zero-emission vehicles. Or, purchase an e-bike to make active transportation easier. Check out the Good Energy suite of clean transportation rebates.

See Good Energy rebates.

Walk, ride your bike or take public transportation to work, even just 1 day a week.

See transit schedules.

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Homes and buildings

Make your home or business more energy efficient with the help of rebates from the Government of Yukon. Check out the Good Energy suite of rebates for energy efficiency retrofits such as switching to renewable heating.

See Good Energy rebates.

Help lower Yukon's energy demand during peak hours, reducing the amount of liquified natural gas and diesel we use.

Participate in the Peak Smart pilot project.

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Energy production

Get a rebate when you install a renewable energy generating system at your home. Then, as you generate electricity, sell what you do not use back to the utilities through the micro-generation program.

See Good Energy rebates.

Apply for funding for community-led renewable energy projects from the Yukon Development Corporation.

Learn more about the Innovative Renewable Energy Initiative.

Generate electricity on a large scale through renewable energy sources. Establish your business and sell electricity to the utilities as an independent power producer.

Learn how to sell electricity as an Independent Power Producer.

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People and the environment

Take an introduction to safe and responsible hunting practices. Includes hunter ethics, essential gear, firearm safety, field-dressing methods, hunting tips and how wildlife management works in Yukon, as well as a section on First Nations’ perspectives on hunting big and small game.

Read Hunt wisely: a guidebook for hunting safely and responsibly in Yukon.

Register for the Yukon hunter education course.

Participate in sustainable forest management by harvesting or purchasing locally available timber and fuel wood, or other ways such as collaborative planning processes, non-timber forest resources harvesting, and forest health monitoring.

See information on forest health.

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Communities

FireSmart your property to reduce forest fire risk.

Keep your property safe from wildfires.

Start a community garden or greenhouse with assistance from the Government of Yukon’s Agriculture Branch.

Get funding for community gardens and greenhouses.

Support and sustain Yukon agriculture for both businesses and local families in our communities by purchasing local products and services.

Find local food porducers and their products through the Yukon Agricultural Association's Farm Products and Services Guide.

Become a local food producer. See how the Government of Yukon supports local producers through its Local Food Strategy for Yukon.

Read the Local Food Strategy for Yukon.

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Innovation

Say no to plastics and to single-use disposable items as much as possible. Reduce your plastic use by refilling containers at local refill vendors such as Aroma Borealis, Riverside Grocery, the Yukon Refillery. 

See tips from Zero-Waste Yukon and Raven Recycling.

Apply for project funding from the Community Development Fund for sustainable community development projects including improvements to land or buildings, this could include clean energy modifications.

Apply for community project and event funding.

Apply to the Environmental Awareness Fund to get support for projects that educate, engage and connect Yukoners with the territory’s natural environment to promote conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and stewardship.

Apply for environmental awareness funding.

 

As long standing stewards of our Traditional Territory that spans Yukon, Northwest Territories and British Columbia, Acho Dene Koe First Nation will continue to support actions and strategies that balance economic opportunity with the preservation of our lands and waters. Through implementation of the strategy, we look forward to working with the Government of Yukon and our First Nation partners to maintain our ability to engage in traditional activities and supply more of what we eat through local harvesting and food production. 

‒ Acho Dene Koe First Nation Chief Gene Hope

The Inuvialuit have an interconnected and enduring relationship to the Yukon North Slope. This area and its adjacent seas have supported our culture and sense of identity for a very long time. As such, the preservation of this land and the rest of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region is very important to us. We welcome effective partnerships across northern Canada to advance collaborative climate action and sustained traditional livelihoods.

‒ Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Chair and Chief Executive Officer Duane Smith

What we're doing

Our Clean Future outlines our top priorities for the next 10 years to address climate change, meet energy needs and build a green economy

These specific, tangible actions set us on the path to reaching our targets for greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and climate resilience.

In addition to the Government of Yukon’s actions, Indigenous and municipal partners have contributed actions toward our collective objectives set out in Our Clean Future.

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Transportation

We’ll make it easier for Yukoners to use clean forms of transportation, reducing fuel costs for individuals, families and businesses and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Key Government of Yukon actions:

  • Get 4,800 zero-emission vehicles on the roads by 2030. We will do this by working with local vehicle dealerships and manufacturers to establish a system to meet targets for zero-emission vehicle sales, providing rebates and investing in charging stations.
  • Ensure at least 50% of all new light-duty cars purchased each year by the Government of Yukon are zero-emission vehicles.
  • Starting in 2025, require that all diesel and gasoline fuel sold in Yukon for transportation align with the percentage of biodiesel, renewable diesel and ethanol by volume in leading Canadian jurisdictions.
  • By 2022 establish a geohazard mapping program for major transportation corridors and prioritize sections for targeted permafrost study.

Partner actions:

  • Village of Mayo: purchase an electric or hybrid vehicle and install an electric vehicle charging station in Mayo.
  • City of Dawson: implement challenge-based campaigns to encourage behavioural shifts on walking and active transportation, as well as on topics such as vehicle use, energy use and waste.
  • City of Dawson: develop a program and educational campaign for reducing winter idling.

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Homes and buildings

Our actions on homes and buildings will improve comfort, safety, productivity and health while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving Yukoners money.

Key Government of Yukon actions:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Government of Yukon buildings by 30% by 2030, compared to 2010.
  • Complete 2,000 residential, commercial and institutional energy efficiency retrofits by 2030 through low-interest financing, rebates and funding.
  • Replace 1,300 residential fossil fuel heating systems with smart electric heating systems by 2030.
  • Support businesses, organizations and local governments to install 20 commercial and institutional biomass heating systems by 2030.
  • Work with the Government of Canada to develop and implement building codes suitable to northern Canada that’ll aspire to see all new residential and commercial buildings be net zero energy ready by 2032.
  • Adopt and enforce relevant building standards by 2030 that’ll require new buildings to be more resilient to climate change impacts like permafrost thaw, flooding and forest fires.

Partner actions:

  • Village of Mayo: retrofit the Village of Mayo Community Centre to be more energy efficient based on an energy assessment completed for the facility.
  • Vuntut Gwitchin Government: explore opportunities to replace diesel heat in Old Crow with fast-growing, locally harvested willow distributed through a district heat system.
  • City of Dawson: implement a water metering and bleeder reduction program.
  • Gwich'in Tribal Council: partner with the University of Saskatchewan to improve and develop more comprehensive energy audits in the Gwich’in communities.

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Energy production

Our approach to energy production will see more renewable energy produced for both heating and electricity. This will be combined with upgrades to the electricity grid and energy storage to make the best use of seasonal resources.

Key Government of Yukon actions:

  • Require at least 93% of the electricity generated on the Yukon Integrated System to come from renewable sources, calculated as a long-term rolling average.
  • Install renewable electricity generation systems in 5 Government of Yukon buildings in off-grid locations by 2025.
  • Continue to provide financial and technical support to Yukon First Nations, municipalities and community organizations to undertake community-led renewable energy projects.
  • Develop a framework by 2022 for First Nations to economically participate in renewable electricity projects developed by Yukon’s public utilities.
  • Improve modelling of the impacts of climate change on hydroelectricity reservoirs by 2021 and incorporate this information into short, medium and long-term forecasts for renewable hydroelectricity generation.

Partner actions:

  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation: develop an energy action plan for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region by 2021.
  • White River First Nation: build a 1.5 megawatt solar farm in Beaver Creek that will displace up to 60% of the diesel used for electricity generation in the community.
  • Vuntut Gwitchin Government: 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.
  • Vuntut Gwitchin Government: 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.
  • Village of Mayo: continue to heat the Village of Mayo swimming pool using solar energy.
  • Gwich'in Tribal Council: work with partner organizations to convert the Gwich’in Camp from full reliance on diesel power to hybridized renewable energy sources.

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People and the environment

Climate change has significant ripple effects on ways of life, cultural identities and physical and mental health due to the intimate relationship between people and the environment. As the climate continues to change, it’s important to improve our understanding of how the natural environment is responding, using a combination of Indigenous, local and scientific knowledge and ways of knowing, doing and being.

Key Government of Yukon actions:

  • Adapt existing surface and groundwater monitoring networks by 2026 to be able to track long-term trends in water quality and quantity in a changing climate.
  • Continue to incorporate climate change into the design of protected and managed areas using landscape conservation science in order to allow native species to move, adapt and survive in the face of climate change.
  • Work with Yukon First Nations to develop a hunter education program by 2023 that can be adapted and delivered by Yukon First Nations for First Nations citizens.
  • Provide training to healthcare providers beginning in 2023 to be better able to identify and treat the physical and mental health impacts of climate change.
  • Expand monitoring of concentrations of particulate matter in the air from biomass burning and forest fires to all Yukon communities by 2023.

Partner actions:

  • Gwich'in Tribal Council: Work with Polar Knowledge Canada to create and mobilize knowledge of sustainable energy, food sovereignty and revitalization and promotion of Indigenous traditional knowledge.

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Communities

Yukon communities will increasing be resilient places where people walk, cycle and use public transportation to get around and where local businesses thrive.

Key Government of Yukon actions:

  • Expand geohazard map coverage to all Yukon communities with a high risk of permafrost thaw by 2025.
  • Generate reliable daily flood forecasts and relevant warnings for all at-risk Yukon communities by 2024.
  • Work with First Nations and municipalities to develop wildfire protection plans for all Yukon communities by 2026.
  • Work with First Nations and municipalities to complete emergency management plans for all Yukon communities by 2022.
  • Incorporate support, where possible, for local food producers into Government of Yukon procurement processes beginning in 2020.
  • Continue to provide funding for community gardens and greenhouses, especially in rural communities.

Partner actions:

  • City of Dawson: create municipal incentives for green buildings, businesses and business practices.
  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation: develop a climate change strategy for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region by 2021.
  • Village of Haines Junction: conduct urban fire smarting.
  • Vuntut Gwitchin Government: 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.

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Innovation

Our approach to innovation will see continued support for Yukon’s businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs through funding, procurement and skills development. We’ll also work to make existing industries and activities more sustainable in the long-term, including how we think about and manage waste.

Key Government of Yukon actions:

  • Update the Government of Yukon’s procurement policies and standards in 2020 to better support sustainable and local procurement.
  • Expand the range of relevant professional development offerings by 2023 to enable more Yukoners to participate in the green economy.
  • Include new provisions in quartz mine licenses by 2022 that will ensure critical mine infrastructure is planned, designed and built to withstand current and projected impacts of climate change.
  • Require quartz mines to project their anticipated greenhouse gas emissions, identify measures to reduce emissions, and annually report greenhouse gas emissions through the quartz mine licensing process beginning in 2022.
  • Establish and implement a framework to measure the sustainability of tourism development in Yukon by 2021.

Partner actions:

  • City of Dawson: create a reserve fund for projects related to climate change, energy and green economy, and fund it from the municipal carbon tax rebate.
  • City of Dawson: set improved service standards with respect to waste pickup, plowing and bleeders for water systems.
  • City of Dawson: explore and implement a comprehensive composting program to encourage and/or incentivize increased diversion of food waste.
  • Gwich'in Tribal Council: 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.
  • Gwich'in Tribal Council: continue looking for partnerships to build innovative technical solutions to decrease the diesel dependency in the Gwich’in Settlement Area.

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Leadership

Our Clean Future aims to empower each and every government, business and individual to take a leadership role in building a healthy, prosperous Yukon for years to come.

Key Government of Yukon actions:

  • Create a Clean Energy Act by 2023 that legislates our greenhouse gas reduction targets and our commitments to energy efficiency and demand-side management.
  • Incorporate a climate change lens into the decision-making process for major Government of Yukon policies, programs and projects by 2021.
  • Develop and offer climate change training for Government of Yukon employees by 2022.
  • Create a Youth Panel on Climate Change in 2020 that will provide advice and perspectives to the Government of Yukon on climate change, energy and green economy matters.
  • Assess climate hazards and vulnerabilities to those hazards across Yukon every 3 to 4 years between 2020 and 2030 to prioritize climate change adaptation actions.

Partner actions:

  • 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; and
    • 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.
  • City of Dawson: develop a policy for municipal operations and events that includes resource use, waste and energy efficiency.
  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation: continue to host energy and climate change terminology workshops.
  • Gwich'in Tribal Council: 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.

Municipal governments have the flexibility not available to larger governments to quickly make changes and find opportunities for climate-change adaptation and mitigation. The City of Dawson is excited to be part of this work and making climate-friendly changes to our own operations.

‒ City of Dawson Mayor Wayne Potoroka

White River First Nation is pleased to be a part this initiative to address climate change in Yukon. Our members are observing changes out on the land and they’re happening much quicker than expected. Our community is thrilled to see our 1.5 megawatt solar field constructed in Beaver Creek this summer to offset our use of diesel in the community. By taking action on climate change now, we’re lessening the impacts to the land and water that future generations will have to adapt to.

‒ White River First Nation Chief Angela Demit

Read the Strategy

To discover more about Our Clean Future and how you can help, download the full strategy.
Download Our Clean Future

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