Government not adequately prepared for climate change – Climate Change in Nunavut
Iqaluit, 13 March 2018—Today, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada provided the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut with the results of an audit that examined measures taken by the territorial government to adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“From reduced sea ice to warming permafrost, the impacts of climate change are visible across Nunavut, said Mr. James McKenzie, Principal Director responsible for the audit. “Our audit found that the Government of Nunavut was not adequately prepared to respond to these impacts.”
The audit found that the Government developed strategies to help Nunavut adapt to climate change and manage energy and greenhouse gas emissions. However, these strategies were not supported by implementation plans that outlined when and how the objectives of the strategies would be met and who would do what.
The audit found that the Government of Nunavut had not fully assessed the risks of climate change to Nunavut and Nunavummiut. “It is important to identify and rank climate risks to ensure the Government of Nunavut prioritizes what it needs to do and directs its actions and resources to the areas of highest risk, said Mr. McKenzie.
In looking at the actions of specific departments and corporations, the audit found that Department of Community and Government Services and the Nunavut Housing Corporation had measures in place to help protect buildings from the impacts of climate change. For example, they conducted building assessments that can identify damages caused by permafrost degradation. However, these assessments were not always carried out as scheduled.
Nunavut is entirely dependent on imported fossil fuels such as diesel for generating electricity and heating homes. The audit found that the Qulliq Energy Corporation, the Nunavut Housing Corporation, and the Department of Community and Government Services took actions to make power plants, public housing and government buildings more energy efficient. However, factors such as high capital costs and technical challenges presented barriers to Nunavut implementing renewable energy projects that would help reduce the territory’s greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.
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The report “Climate Change in Nunavut” is available on the Office of the Auditor General of Canada website.
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