Find out about Yukon-specific climate change

What is climate change?

Earth’s climate has always changed over time, but the scale of changes happening now has never been seen before.

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, trap heat in the atmosphere. Their concentration in Earth's atmosphere is on the rise and it affects our climate. This is largely the result of human activities like burning fossil fuels.

Climate change has a greater and faster impact on the North than on other parts of the world. Yukon’s average temperature has increased by 2°C over the past 50 years and winter temperatures have increased by 4°C over the same time period. This increase is 2x the rate of southern Canada.

How does climate change affect Yukon?

Climate change impacts that Yukon faces include:

  • increased average temperatures;
  • changes in amounts of rain and snow;
  • more extreme weather events like lightning storms, strong winds, flooding and fires;
  • melting glaciers and sea ice;
  • thawing permafrost; and
  • changes to lake, river and water quality.

These changes impact Yukoners by:

  • affecting health by limiting access to country foods;
  • affecting the traditional activities and culture of Yukon’s First Nations as wildlife patterns shift; and
  • causing damage to buildings, roads, power lines, water supplies and other critical infrastructure.

What is the government doing about climate change?

Around the world, governments are changing the way they address climate change. They are building resilient communities and low-carbon economies that sustain clean growth. 

We intend Yukon to take part in this shift. 

The Government of Yukon is developing a new strategy on climate change, energy and green economy. This strategy will enhance Yukon’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and thrive in a changing climate. 

 

Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

Yukon is part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The framework commits the Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada to collaborate in the following areas.

  • Advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects
  • Building resilient communities
  • Developing new research and pilot projects

The Pan-Canadian Framework also lays out Canada’s plan to put a price on carbon across the country. Applying that plan will begin in 2019.

Carbon pricing

Carbon pricing is a cost-effective way for Canada to reduce emissions. It will foster innovation in renewable energy and efficiency, and help build a strong, low-carbon economy.

The Government of Yukon is working with its partners, including the Government of Canada, to make sure Yukon’s unique circumstances are considered when the national price on carbon comes into effect in Yukon.

We have committed to returning all funds collected through the federal carbon pricing mechanism to Yukon individuals, businesses, Yukon First Nations and municipalities through a rebate.

For more information about climate change in Yukon email: climatechange@gov.yk.ca or phone: 867-456-5565 or toll-free in Yukon, NWT and Nunavut: 1-800-661-0408, ext. 5565.