Territories get low grades on climate change

More than half of Nunavut’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 were from diesel fuel. A report from the David Suzuki Foundation gives Nunavut a poor grade for not having a territory-wide targets for greenhouse gas reductions.

Nunavut and Yukon got poor grades when it comes to combating climate change and the N.W.T. was almost as bad, according to the David Suzuki Foundation's annual report card.

The report, titled All Over the Map, compared and ranked the climate change plans of the provinces and territories, noting that there is no federal plan.

Both Nunavut and Yukon were ranked as “poor,” losing points for not having territory-wide targets for reducing greenhouse gases, while the N.W.T. got a ranking of “fair” for its commitment to increasing renewable energy and considering a carbon tax.

Ian Bruce, a climate change and clean energy specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation, said though northerners are seeing the most dramatic impacts of global warming, the territories are lagging behind in taking steps to help prevent it.

"It's important for the territories to have strong climate change plans to show the rest of the world that we are taking this problem seriously," he said.

Most northern communities rely on fossil fuels, and resource extraction activities are a big generator of greenhouse gases.

N.W.T. MLA Bob Bromley said there’s room for improvement in his territory.

"With at least the temporary shelving of the Mackenzie Gas Project, there's a real opportunity to define now soundly what we mean by economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development and start putting that into action," he said.