We Did It! Yukon Declares Climate Emergency

Dear friends,

I write today on my 8th anniversary as an elected official, because I want to share yesterday’s Yukon NDP legislative win!

On May 4th, in my first speech as leader, I told you that one of my first actions as leader would be to table a motion for debate to declare a climate emergency in Yukon. I tabled the following motion.

THAT this House recognize

(1) that human caused climate change is contributing to global climate warming;

(2) that the Yukon and Canada's north is warming at three times the global average;

(3) that climate change is a threat to our land, water, wildlife and way of life, and;

(4) that irreversible and catastrophic climate change can only be prevented if we collectively reduce our carbon emissions to near zero early in the second half of the century.

THEREFORE, this house urges the Government of Yukon to declare a Territorial Climate Emergency, and, that the Government of Yukon develop a comprehensive internal assessment process that would apply the lens of climate change to all government decision making by reviewing how all projects, policies, legislative decisions, funding increases and infrastructure projects will contribute to or reduce carbon pollution and mitigate climate change risks to Yukoners.

My intention was to call this motion for debate and invite all of you to the legislature, because this is an issue that affects us all, and as I said, “democracy isn’t a solo sport”. Instead, we were told yesterday morning, that Minister Frosts motion “recognizing a climate emergency” was up for debate first thing after question period.

With the support of Liz Hanson sitting next to me and guests that we invited from both CPAWS and YCS, and with Jan Stick and Noah MacFadgen in the background , the Yukon NDP amendment to declare a climate emergency in Yukon was unanimously passed in the assembly.

I wish you could’ve been there. It was one of the greatest moments I’ve had as an elected person. From this point forward, all of Yukon Governments decisions and actions will be through a climate change emergency lens.

A proud day indeed.

We did it! Yukon has declared a climate emergency!!!!


Leader Yukon NDP